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Soyuz manned capsule docked to ISS is apparently leaking something

A spacewalk today was cancelled when it was suddenly noticed that some unknown substance was leaking from one of the Soyuz manned capsules docked to ISS.

During preparations for this evening’s planned spacewalk by Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin, ground teams noticed significant leaking of an unknown substance from the aft portion of the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft docked to the Rassvet module on the International Space Station. The spacewalk has been canceled, and ground teams in Moscow are evaluating the nature of the fluid and potential impacts to the integrity of the Soyuz spacecraft, which carried Prokopyev, Petelin, and NASA astronaut Frank Rubio into space after launching from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Sept. 21.

The big question is whether this leak will impact the capsule’s function as a lifeboat or a return vehicle for the three astronauts it brought into space. If so, then an empty manned capsule needs to be launched, either by the Russians or SpaceX, though if the latter someone would have to pay the cost.

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.

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  • geoffc

    Would be interesting to see if time becomes an issue, and they need a replacement. Which way they go? Can SpaceX or Roscosmos respond faster? SpaceX clearly has boosters to spare and capacity (just bump a Starlink launch a few days) but do they have a Dragon that is ready? They seem to take a long time between reflights. (Most of which is they fly 6 month missions, so not a lot of flights happening over short intervals.)

  • geoffc: The long gaps between SpaceX flights has nothing to do with SpaceX, but with NASA and the manner in which it schedules missions to ISS. If SpaceX needed to put a mission together I am sure it could do so relatively quickly.

  • Ray Van Dune

    Bob Z – just FYI, the wording of “If not, then an empty manned capsule needs to be launched…” might be the opposite of what I think you meant to say.

  • Ray Van Dune: Oy. You are right. I have replaced “not” with “so” to correct things.

  • pzatchok

    And this is the exact reason I think NASA needs to have a leased capsule ready to be flown inside a few days. Just sitting in the corner waiting to be put on a launcher and flown.

    Something should be ready to launch inside three days. If you set the time frame to three days it would be a reasonable rescue ship. Anything longer and your just telling the crew they are on their own for the next two to three weeks. Hope the tape holds.

  • Boobah

    If so, then an empty manned capsule needs to be launched, either by the Russians or SpaceX, though if the latter someone would have to pay the cost.

    If government agencies could make something appear for free by merely making the demand, communism would be more functional than it is. The folks at Roscosmos still need to eat, as do their suppliers. TANSTAAFL; someone always pays.

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