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Russians test thrusters on leaking Soyuz

In the continuing investigation into the leak of coolant from a Soyuz capsule docked to ISS, Russian engineers yesterday tested the capsule’s thrusters, finding they functioned as normal.

As part of the ongoing evaluation and investigation, Roscosmos flight controllers conducted a successful test of the Soyuz MS-22 thrusters at 3:08 a.m. EST Friday, Dec. 16. The systems that were tested were nominal, and Roscosmos assessments of additional Soyuz systems continue. Temperatures and humidity within the Soyuz spacecraft, which remains docked to the Rassvet module, are within acceptable limits.

The highlighted words have been the Russians’ way of downplaying a serious concern. According to their own data, the temperatures in the capsule have now risen to 86 degrees Fahrenheit, which though entirely safe is higher than normal for within habitable spacecraft. Should those temperatures continue to rise, it will start to become a problem.

One solution would be circulate cooler air from the rest of the station. I suspect this is possible with equipment on board, but do not know for sure.

Right now however it surely appears that it would likely not be wise to return its crew to Earth in this capsule, and that a replacement will be required.

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit. If you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and the author gets a bigger cut much sooner.

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  • pzatchok

    I wonder if the capsule is holding pressure?

    It could always be used to send garbage back.

  • Joe

    If the avionics are buried as deep ad they say they are, the circulating station air into the craft will not help much. If I were the planners, I’d be rushing to get another Soyuz ready for a fast flight. Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

  • Jeff Wright

    This is why I don’t like depots.

    Imagine if this had been Tanker Starship.

    This was the best spacecraft to take a hit in—as it was a relatively inert forward living compartment that took the (likely) Geminid hit….had that been a typical capsule without that sphere in the nose—the capsule itself is what takes the hit here.

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