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The Soyuz has been hit by debris, and it is now being evaluated whether it will be safe for astronauts

The Soyuz has been hit by debris, and it is now being evaluated whether it will be safe for astronauts

A few days ago we told you about the problem with the Russian Soyuz spacecraft docked at the Naoka module, which Almost paralyzed International Space Station. As a first impact, scheduled spacewalks were blocked for the following hours, but after that we no longer received substantive updates on developments.

At least until Monday, when an update arrived from the Russian space agency Roscosmos, which in a post on its official website presented its version of the facts after analyzes conducted over the weekend. Obviously, the person responsible for the coolant leak could be a small piece of space junk, which would break one of the external cooling circuits, namely the component that radiates heat from the Soyuz’s interior back into space.

Work closely with astronauts NASAThe Russian cosmonauts relied on the Canadarm2 arm to examine the damaged area, and so they discovered that the hole had an area of ‚Äč‚Äčabout 0.8 millimeters in diameter. It’s really trivial to think about, but it’s enough to dump all the refrigerant into the external circuit. After a thorough visual inspection, the Russian Space Agency has not detected any other noticeable damage to the Soyuz spacecraft, at least for now.

But control work is not over yet, and as the director of Rosmosmos reports, Further examinations will be carried out next week And only after that A decision will be made on the future of the Soyuz spacecraft in question. According to Yuri Borosov, the final decision will be made on December 27 and can only end in two ways: either it will be decided to return three crew members to Earth inside the damaged Soyuz MS-22, or it will be safer, that is, independently. Fly the next Soyuz MS-23 to the station and then continue the return flight. If the second solution is identified, the spacecraft on Earth could be ready to fly from next February 19.

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In any case, the situation seems rather complicated, and without a functional external cooler there would be a risk of overheating inside the spacecraft. As a result, the flight computers could malfunction, forcing the astronauts to fly back with manual guidance through Earth’s atmosphere. Tests for the next few days will almost certainly assess any internal changes in temperature, to understand for sure what might happen once the spacecraft departs from the space station.

Sending an empty spacecraft would be a huge financial cost Roscosmos would like to avoid it if possible. There has been said to be great cooperation between the two space agencies and why + will be explained shortly: Not only has the safety of all ISS residents been affected, but astronaut Rubio is one of the three crew members who arrived with the Soyuz and must be restarted. With two Russians with Soyuz affected.

Right now, it’s not certain Soyuz MS-22 is still a viable solution for returning with humans on board, so we’ll have to wait a little longer to be sure.