The Russian Space Agency (Roscosmos) plans to implement an unprecedented plan to launch another completely empty Soyuz spacecraft to rescue three Russian and American astronauts at risk of becoming stranded on the International Space Station.
According to The GuardianAt a joint press conference on December 22, officials from Roscosmos and NASA said they were continuing their investigation into the cause of the coolant leak from the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft.
Earlier, on December 14, the Russian Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft released massive coolant, like a stream of snowflakes flowing from the rear of the ship, as shown in a video released by NASA.
A Soyuz launch.
A Soyuz launch.
Mr. Sergei Krikalev, head of space travel programs at Roscosmos, said the damage was still being assessed and no definitive conclusions had been reached regarding the return of the three astronauts who had just boarded the ISS aboard this ship. ?
This crew includes two Russian astronauts, Sergei Prokopyev and Dimitry Petelin, and a NASA astronaut, Frank Rubio. They work on the ISS with four other astronauts from Roscosmos, NASA and the Japan Space Agency (JAXA), arriving at the station aboard the Space X Crew Dragon spacecraft.
Mr Krikalev said that if the thermal analysis – which assesses the level of heat in the cabin – concludes that the Soyuz MS-22 is no longer suitable for a return flight to Earth, another launch planned for March l will lead to the first Soyuz station. The spacecraft was completely empty from the Baikonur cosmodrome.
If so, the damaged spacecraft will return to Earth without a crew. This was an unexpected decision because in the past, Soyuz had always operated with astronauts inside.
Joe Montalbano, director of NASA’s ISS program, said the cause of the Soyuz leak was still unclear. Doubts about the Geminids meteor shower have been eliminated, because the Geminids come from a different direction – according to the joint conclusion of two Russian and American groups.
Mr. Tommaso Sgobba, President of the International Association for the Advancement of Space Security (IAASS) and former Director of Space Flight Safety at ESA, had an interview with Space newspaper last week, expressing the The concern is that if the Soyuz spacecraft is not able to return to Earth, the three astronauts mentioned above could remain stranded on the ISS for months, unable to evacuate if an incident occurs with the space station.
He also fears that Russia will have to send two Soyuz ships to the space station for the rescue mission. But it appears the mission will be simpler if Roscosmos decides to launch an empty ship instead of having astronauts at the controls like before.
Article source: NLD
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The Russian Space Agency (Roscosmos) plans to implement the unprecedented plan to launch another completely empty Soyuz spacecraft to save 3 spacecraft…