A piece of Russian space junk moved uncomfortably close to the International Space Station early Wednesday, resulting in a wreck avoidance maneuver. Routine stuff – except for the fact that three crew members would have to escape inside a potentially damaged Soyuz spacecraft if the ISS evacuated it is necessary.
Another day, another spacewalk is cancelled. This time, instead of the spacewalk that should be due to me a A worrying coolant leak on Soyuz MS-22 Docked at the station, it was canceled due to the threat of space junk.
Tracking data warned that the remnants of the Russian Fregat-SB upper stage were coming within less than a quarter of a mile of the International Space Station, prompting a debris avoidance maneuver, NASA explained in a statement. Articles Mail. Ground controllers told the crew to stop spacewalk preparations and instead prepare for orbital adjustment. The maneuver occurred at 8:42 a.m. ET today, firing thrusters from the docked Progress 81 spacecraft for 10 minutes and 21 seconds, sending the International Space Station farther away from the expected path of the debris, according to NASA. Update.
The space agency said the crew is not in immediate danger and that a new date for the canceled spacewalk, in which astronauts Frank Rubio and Josh Cassada will continue to install their solar panels, is imminent. The crew may not have been in “any immediate danger”, but the accident was untimely.
Russian Space Agency Roscosmos is in the midst of determining whether or not Soyuz MS-22 is suitable Flight after a Dec. 15 leak of an external refrigerant loop on the vehicle’s service module. Inspections revealed a 0.8mm wide opening that It could be caused by a micrometeor or a small piece of space junk. Alternatively, the leak may be due to a prefabricated radiator vent, such as NASA forecast on Monday.
For Rubio and cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitry Petlin, this spaceship is their way home—but it’s also Lifeboat in case of serious emergency. Roscosmos expects to make a decision on the aircraft’s flightworthiness by December 27. exams are over The weekend indicated that the Soyuz’s thrusters are working properly, but some extreme temperature fluctuations inside the spacecraft’s cabin could be a cause for concern. The MS-22 could be considered fit for service, but in its absence, Roscosmos will send an uncrewed Soyuz aircraft as a replacement. The capsule was supposed to be launched in March as part of the MS-23 mission, but Roscosmos says it could speed up the flight and lift it up in mid-February.
This is still not cool. If an evacuation of the space station is deemed necessary (for whatever reason), Rubio, Prokopyev, and Petlin are They are expected to use the docked Soyuz MS-22 as their escape vehicle. On December 16, Russian ground controllers sent new instructions to the ISS regarding this particular emergency, namely that it should “urgently descend,” according to the state-run Tass news agency. explained. The details of these new instructions are not known, but it likely consists of a revised evacuation checklist and a set of procedures to accommodate a damaged cooling system once the spacecraft descends and flies high.
In other words, the trio will have to risk it inside what appears to be damaged Starship simply because there is no other choice. Yes, the SpaceX Crew Dragon has also been docked to the station, but that means bringing back the remaining crew, who are NASA astronauts Nicole Mann, Josh Kasada and Koichi Wakata from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), and Anna Kikina from Roscosmos. As for the Progress 81 parked outside, this is an expendable goods vehicle that burns on re-entry, so it’s Obviously not an option.
fully-A large-scale evacuation of the International Space Station has not happened, nor is it likely to happen anytime soon. But these two simultaneous incidents—a leaking spacecraft and a menacing space junk—are a reminder that space can be a very dangerous place to work, and Astronauts are always there Exhibition.
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