Soyuz MS-22 cooling system leak 'impossible' to repair in space
The International Space Station's systems are operating as usual and the crew is safe, now experts are determining what to do next.
After a leak in the cooling system of the Russian Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft was reported, the ground team found that it would be near impossible to seal and stop the leak in space.
According to Sputnik, citing space agency Roscosmos, the International Space Station (ISS)'s systems were operating as usual and the crew was safe, adding that experts are determining what to do next.
"It is impossible to repair such damage in the conditions of the International Space Station. Even if you seal the leak during a spacewalk, how can you pump 44 liters of refrigerant into the radiator under the pressure of 3 atmospheres? Moreover, the temperature control system must undergo a special pressure test afterward, which in principle cannot be done in orbit," a source familiar with the matter said.
To tackle the situation after the temperature rose to 40 degrees Celsius, the systems of the spacecraft were shut down, which stabilized and brought the temperature back down to 30 degrees Celsius - the temperature in the living space of the spacecraft should remain between 18 and 25 degrees Celsius.
However, if the systems are turned back on again, the temperatures will rise back up as the leak continues to go about in space. Luckily, Roscosmos head Yuri Borisov assured that a replacement - Soyuz MS-23 - is being prepared and is due to be ready by March 16, adding that although US partners in the ISS offered to help bring back the crew of the Soyuz MS-22, there is no need for it today.
Roscosmos Executive Director for Manned Space Programs Sergey Krikalev said that the spacecraft’s radiator could have been hit by a meteoroid.