NASA has inquired about utilizing the SpaceX Dragon capsule to carry astronauts dwelling from the Worldwide Area Station (ISS) after a latest leak aboard Russia’s Soyuz capsule, a NASA weblog reported.
On December 15, 2022, the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft It had a serious coolant leak whereas docked on the Worldwide Area Station forward of a deliberate Russian spacewalk. Whereas the Soyuz doesn’t pose any speedy hazard to the area station or its crew, it’s nonetheless not identified if the Soyuz is airworthy; As such, the MS-22 crew not had a viable lifeboat in case of an emergency.
In an effort to safe a alternative lifeboat for Russian cosmonauts Sergei Prokopyev and Dmitry Petlin and NASA astronaut Frank Rubio, NASA and Roscosmos are conducting a assessment of accessible choices, which included inquiring with SpaceX about utilizing one in every of its Dragon capsules. Alternative for Soyuz MS-22.
As a part of the evaluation, NASA has additionally reached out to SpaceX about its potential to return further crew members aboard Dragon if wanted in an emergency, though the first focus is on understanding the post-spill capabilities of the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft, the area company stated. he wrote in a weblog publish on Dec. 30 (Opens in a brand new tab).
Associated: The Soyuz rescue spacecraft cannot attain the Worldwide Area Station till February
An earlier report by Reuters stated the identical factor, however a NASA weblog publish confirms that the company is, the truth is, contemplating utilizing the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft as a lifeboat for the Worldwide Area Station. “We have requested SpaceX some questions on their potential to return further crew members on Dragon if wanted, however that is not our major focus presently,” NASA spokeswoman Sandra Jones stated. He stated in a press release to Reuters Posted final Wednesday (December 28).
There’s an alternative choice for Roscosmos to ship a alternative Soyuz automobile. However the closest such mission might be launched It will likely be FebruaryIn keeping with statements made by Sergei Krikalev, head of the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Coaching Middle close to Moscow, throughout a press convention broadcast by NASA on December 22. Including that as quickly as doable, a brand new Soyuz may very well be despatched a bit earlier…two or three weeks sooner than we are able to do at this level.
Roscosmos nonetheless Verify the reason for the leak It plans to launch its outcomes this month. The Russian state information company TASS reported on December 27 that the rationale for the leak was “exterior mechanical harm (Opens in a brand new tab),” although it’s not identified if the wrongdoer was a meteorite or area particles.
No matter the reason for the leak, the broken Soyuz spacecraft is a serious security concern for the MS-22 crew, Rubio, Petelin, and Prokopyev. Tommaso Sjoba, govt director of the Worldwide Affiliation for the Development of Area Safety (IAASS) and former head of spaceflight security on the European Area Company, informed Area.com: A leaky Soyuz poses an enormous threat. “It’s doubtless that that is the primary time that the area station doesn’t have a full capability to construct a lifeboat,” stated Sjuba. “It is my private feeling, but when that is true, then we’ve got an enormous drawback on the area station. We’re lacking the crew escape system.”
One potential disadvantage to utilizing the Dragon as a lifeboat was the area fits that had been worn by the MS-22 crew; SpaceX capsules are designed to work in tandem with SpaceX spacesuits are customizedWhereas the MS-22 crew blasted off to the Worldwide Area Station sporting Russian spacesuits from Sokol.
SpaceX has but to touch upon the potential of sending a Dragon capsule to the Worldwide Area Station to switch the beleaguered Soyuz MS-22.
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