Impulse test on space station Soyuz spacecraft leak – US spacewalk postponed
NASA is supporting the ongoing investigation with the use of the Canadarm2 robotic arm to provide additional viewing of the Soyuz exterior on Sunday, December 18. To accommodate this change in plans, NASA has postponed the upcoming U.S. spacewalk to install an International Space Station Roll-Out Solar Array (iROSA), which was originally scheduled for Monday, December 19. The new target date for the spacewalk is Wednesday, December 21.
The Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft carried NASA astronaut Frank Rubio and Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin into space after launching from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on September 21.
The leak was first detected on December 14 at around 7:45 p.m. EST, when data pressure sensors in the cooling loop showed low readings. At that time, Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin were preparing to conduct a spacewalk. The spacewalk was canceled, so the cosmonauts did not exit the space station or become exposed to the leaking coolant. From data analysis and cameras aboard the space station, the majority of fluid had leaked out by yesterday, December 15, around 1:30 p.m. EST.
More updates will be provided as data becomes available.
On station, the Expedition 68 crew members set up a variety of advanced research gear to capture high-definition video of Earth and house biology samples for observation.
Flight Engineers Josh Cassada and Frank Rubio reviewed spacewalk robotics activities with Flight Engineers Nicole Mann of NASA and Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (
Prokopyev and Petelin cleaned their Orlan spacesuits and stowed their spacewalking tools following the postponement of Wednesday night’s spacewalk.
Flight Engineer Anna Kikina also worked on post-spacewalk activities returning the station’s Russian segment to normal and checking radiation sensors worn on the Orlan suits. Kikina wrapped up her day treating surfaces inside the Zarya module with an anti-fungal agent to maintain cleanliness and health aboard the station.
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