Roscosmos seems to be having some problems with a spaceship again. In December, the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft carrying three Expedition 68 crew members to the International Space Station (ISS) reported a leak in its coolant circuit. On February 11, engineers at the Russian Mission Control Center outside Moscow registered a depressurization in Progress 82, an unmanned cargo ship docked with the Poisk laboratory module. The cause of these leaks remains unknown, but Roscosmos engineers (with the assistance of their NASA colleagues) will continue the investigation.
The incident was noticed on Saturday (February 11) when another unmanned cargo ship (Progress 83) docked at the aft end of the Zvezda service module. Like Progress 82, this spacecraft delivered nearly three tons of food, fuel, and supplies for the Expedition 68 crew. Meanwhile, Progress 82 has been loaded with garbage and is scheduled to undock from the station on Feb. 17, followed by a flight over the Pacific. The crew were promptly informed of the leak and determined that it posed no danger to them.
NASA specialists began assisting their Russian counterparts in fixing the problem, which included obtaining images of Progress 82 using cameras aboard Canadarm-2. According to the latest update, the crew has returned to normal space operations and scientific research. The hatches between Progress 82 and the station are open and temperatures and pressures are normal. Officials continue to monitor all ISS systems and have not reported any further problems since.
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This latest leak has delayed the launch of Soyuz MS-23, a replacement spacecraft scheduled for launch on February 19 to replace the Soyuz MS-22. This spacecraft would bring NASA astronaut Frank Rubio and Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin (delivered by the MS-22 mission in October 2022). With this latest development, the launch date of the MS-23 unmanned spacecraft is now being verified.
Further Reading: NASA Blogs
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