Soyuz leak halts planned ISS spacewalk • The Register

We don’t want to alarm you, but a Russian Soyuz vehicle docked with the International Space Station (ISS) leaks a “significant” amount of something, causing a spacewalk to be canceled.

In fact, so much is leaking out that it’s visible to cameras on the ISS. The video embedded in the tweet below appears to show whatever was leaked at the 35 second mark.

The video above shows the Soyuz MS-22 vehicle docked with the Rassvet module.

The commentary on the video describes the leak as “a visible flow of fluff” and adds that low pressure in external cooling circuits was also noted.

A first hypothesis is therefore that the Soyuz is losing coolant.

Which you don’t really want if you’re planning to return the Soyuz to Earth in March 2023 along with three crew members. And to make matters worse, when these three cosmonauts need to get back to Earth quickly, they come here in MS-22. As a reminder, when the sun shines on things in space, they get very hot. Re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere is also very hot. And a lot of heat breaks spaceships.

The leak isn’t ideal for the entire ISS either, as the purpose of the proposed spacewalk was to move a cooler from the Rassvet module to the Nauka science module.

Rassvet is mainly used for docking and storage. Nauka is a working science lab that was supposed to launch in 2007 but made it to the ISSS in 2021, experiencing all sorts of unplanned adventures along the way. Then, upon arrival, it unexpectedly fired its engines and sent the ISS into a spin.

The spacewalk to move the cooler had already been delayed once before due to spacesuit problems.

The leak was deemed sufficiently dangerous to end this one as well.

Space agencies are now trying to figure out why and/or what the Soyuz is leaking so they can stop it and continue their normal lives on the ISS. Or as normal as it gets on a series of interconnected tin cans, mostly owned by different nations, circling the Earth. ® Soyuz leak halts planned ISS spacewalk • The Register

Rick Schindler

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