Meteoroid crippled International Space Station capsule! Crew to be rescued soon | Tech News

Meteoroid crippled International Space Station capsule! Crew to be rescued soon

The capsule on the International Space Station was crippled by a meteoroid just ahead of the crew departing for Earth, it has been revealed.

| Updated on: Jan 11 2023, 18:57 IST
NASA In Pics: Stunning images of Soyuz launch captured by International Space Station
Soyuz leak
1/5 NASA astronauts aboard the International Space Station witnessed the launch of the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft which took off from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on September 21, carrying one NASA astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts. (Bob Hines/Twitter)
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2/5 NASA astronaut Frank Rubio and two cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin arrived at the International Space Station on September 21, making a total of 10 residents aboard the ISS at least until the end of the week. Many of them will depart the ISS in the coming week as their 6-month tenure aboard the orbiting lab comes to an end. (AP)
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3/5 European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti posted mesmerizing images of the launch on her Twitter. She wrote, “We had a spectacular view of the #Soyuz launch! Sergey, Dmitry and Frank will come knocking on our door in just a couple of hours … looking forward to welcoming them to their new home!” (Samantha Cristoforetti/Twitter)
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4/5 NASA astronaut Bob Hines also shared images of the launch on his Twitter page. He wrote, “Ever wonder what a [rocket] launch looks like from space? It’s amazing!!” The NASA and ESA astronauts seem excited to welcome their new co-workers aboard the spacecraft, despite the ongoing tensions with Russia. (Bob Hines/Twitter)
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5/5 According to NASA, all three newly arrived astronauts are part of the Expedition 68 crew which will take the research aboard the spacecraft for a period of 6 months. NASA said,” Throughout their six-month stay aboard the orbital outpost, the trio will work on science and research in technology development, Earth science, biology, human research, and more.” (Bob Hines/Twitter)
Soyuz leak
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Dramatic live footage had shown the Soyuz MS-22 spraying liquid into space. (AFP)

After the horrific recent events when their spaceship's coolant leaked in such a dramatic fashion just ahead of their departure for Earth from the International Space Station, the stuck crew will be rescued by a new Russian space corporation Roscosmos' capsule, it has been announced. Roscosmos will launch a new spacecraft to bring some of the crew back to Earth.

The scary part is that it has been confirmed that the leak in the Soyuz capsule was caused by a micrometeoroid crashing into it. NASA says that a micrometeoroid is a particle smaller than a grain of sand. However, even this small a thing can have such a big effect on the hard surfaces of these flying machines.

Notably, two Russian cosmonauts, Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin, and one NASA astronaut, Frank Rubio had planned to use the Soyuz MS-22 capsule to return to Earth in December. However, the leaked coolant led to higher cabin temperatures and amid the uncertainty, their departure was scrapped.

Now, Roscosmos has announced that it will launch a new Soyuz MS-23 capsule to rescue the stuck crew. However, this capsule will be crewless. It will be launched on February 20.

That also means the mission of Prokopyev, Petelin and Rubio will be extended, but Roscosmos chief Yuri Borisov did not specify for how long.

Notably Roscosmos' and NASA's long term plans may be affected as the Soyuz MS-23 was scheduled to be launched in March to carry two Russian cosmonauts and a US astronaut into orbit.

Borisov provided the thought that went into the upcoming launch of Soyuz MS-23, saying that Roscosmos had explored the option of launching the new Soyuz with one crew member, but that would have meant even longer time to prepare.

The Soyuz MS-23 will be crewless, but it will be utilized to ferry supplies to the International Space Station.

Considering the fraught situation the astronauts find themselves in, officials have also considered using the disabled Soyuz MS-22 capsule to evacuate the crew, before the new capsule's arrival, in case of an emergency on the International Space Station.

Notably, the first inkling that something was wrong on Soyuz MS-22 was spotted when the Russians were about to step outside the station on a planned spacewalk. In fact, ground specialists saw a stream of fluid and particles leaking from the Soyuz on a live video feed from space.

The problem of the stricken Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft will also be solved and it will likely be sent back to Earth without a crew.

Not just Prokopyev, Petelin and Rubio, there are four other crew members currently on the ISS.

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First Published Date: 11 Jan, 18:56 IST