Image credit: Roscosmos


The troubled Russian Soyuz MS-22 that suffered a coolant leak at the International Space Station continues to garner top-level attention as to the craft’s status.

A recent meeting held at Russia’s TsNIIMash, the country’s rocket and spacecraft scientific center, brought experts together to confer about the situation, focused on the damaged crew-carrying craft.

Coolant spraying instrument-assembly compartment of the Soyuz spacecraft.
Image credit: NASA


Earlier, Russia’s Roscosmos stated that two working groups have been established to determine the causes of the emergency situation and analyze the technical condition of the spacecraft.

These groups were also charged with developing recommendations for further actions by ground specialists and the crew of the Russian segment of the station.

Image credit: Roscosmos

The working group experts must decide on the possibility or impossibility of further use of the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft to return astronauts to Earth, which is planned for March 2023, Roscosmos explained.

Should I stay, should I go?

In a recent posting on the official Roscosmos Telegram channel, it has been reported the groups did establish that the breakdown of the ship’s thermal control system radiator occurred due to external mechanical damage.

That external problem could have been caused by a micrometeoroid or space debris striking the spacecraft’s external cooler-radiator.

Image credit: Roscosmos

Making use of a camera-mounted robotic arm inspection, close-up imagery of the problem area was taken to help assess the issue.

On one hand, a decision could be made to quickly prepare for launch of an uncrewed Soyuz MS-23 to replace the compromised Soyuz MS-22. Alternatively, a decision could be made to carry out a regular crew change of the ISS Russian segment.

The new Roscosmos Telegram channel posting indicates that in January 2023, based on the conclusions of the working groups, a special commission will make organizational decisions on the further actions of ground specialists and the crew of the ISS Russian Segment, as well as on a possible change in the ISS flight program.

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