Russia is sending a relief vehicle to the International Space Station after a leakage accident What is the story?

Russia is sending a relief vehicle to the International Space Station after a leakage accident What is the story? Russia announced that, on February 20, it will send a relief vehicle to the International Space Station to return three members of the crew of a vehicle damaged by a leakage accident. The International Space Station is one of the few remaining areas of cooperation between Moscow and Washington since the start of the war in Ukraine.  Russia announced, on Wednesday, that on February 20 it will send a relief vehicle to the International Space Station to return three crew members of a Soyuz spacecraft that was damaged in a leakage accident last month.  The Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft, which is currently docked at the International Space Station, suffered a massive leak of coolant in mid-December, and images showed quantities of particles leaking into space from the back of the Russian spacecraft.  After examining the condition of the device, the Russian Space Agency (Roskosmos) announced, on Wednesday, that it considers it better to send another spacecraft, "Soyuz MS-23", to bring back the Russian astronauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitry Petline, as well as the American astronaut Frank Rubio.  "It was decided to send the Soyuz MS-23 spacecraft on February 20, 2023 without passengers," Roskosmos said in a statement, but with the necessary equipment.  The vehicle was initially scheduled to take off on March 16 to carry three more astronauts to the International Space Station.  "We don't call this Soyuz a backup," said ISS program manager at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Joel Montalbano. "It's a replacement."  "For the time being, the crew is safe on board the station," he added.  The date for the return of the two Russian flagships and the American flagship, which was initially scheduled for March 28, was not announced.  But their mission will be extended for "several months," said Sergey Krikalev, director of manned flights at Roskosmos, during a press conference.  In addition, the damaged vehicle will return to Earth empty, perhaps "in the middle or at the end of March," according to Krikalev.  emergency scenarios  And while awaiting the arrival of the replacement vehicle, and in the event of an emergency requiring the evacuation of the International Space Station, the Russian and American space agencies are studying several scenarios. However, the two agencies confirmed that this possibility is still far away.  The first scenario is for the three crew members to be brought aboard the damaged Soyuz, despite concerns about the reachable temperature inside the spacecraft at the time of landing.  The second scenario is to reduce the "heat load" on board the Soyuz by "reducing the size of the crew."  Then, one of the three passengers will be brought back by a SpaceX-built vehicle, also currently docked on the International Space Station.  Accurate meteorite collision  The leak was detected on December 14 aboard the Soyuz spacecraft, as the two Russian cosmonauts were about to exit the station into space.  An initial assessment of the causes of the refrigerant leak attributed what happened to the possibility of a small meteor impact occurring naturally, to man-made debris in orbit, or to a malfunction in the instruments.  And on Wednesday, Roscomos confirmed that the hypothesis of a micrometeor impact "has been experimentally proven."  According to the Russian agency, a hole "less than a millimeter in diameter" was opened in a cooling tube.  Given the speed at which experts believe the object collided with the International Space Station, what happened could be caused by "a meteor that came from a random direction", and not a piece of debris that "would not have been able to stay in this orbit" so quickly, according to Sergey Krikalev.  The Russian agency ruled out any mechanical failure.  The International Space Station is one of the few remaining areas of cooperation between Moscow and Washington since the start of the Ukraine war on February 24, and the ensuing Western sanctions.  Last month, Roskosmos chief Yuri Borisov praised the solidarity of Americans aboard the International Space Station, who "reached out to help us," at a time when relations between the Kremlin and the White House were at their lowest point.  The International Space Station was launched in 1998 at the stage of US-Russian cooperation, following the space race in which the two countries engaged during the Cold War.  However, the project faced many technical problems, in addition to corruption scandals that tarnished the reputation of the Russian space sector in recent years, after it was competing with the United States in the space race.

Russia announced that, on February 20, it will send a relief vehicle to the International Space Station to return three members of the crew of a vehicle damaged by a leakage accident. The International Space Station is one of the few remaining areas of cooperation between Moscow and Washington since the start of the war in Ukraine.

Russia announced, on Wednesday, that on February 20 it will send a relief vehicle to the International Space Station to return three crew members of a Soyuz spacecraft that was damaged in a leakage accident last month.

The Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft, which is currently docked at the International Space Station, suffered a massive leak of coolant in mid-December, and images showed quantities of particles leaking into space from the back of the Russian spacecraft.

After examining the condition of the device, the Russian Space Agency (Roskosmos) announced, on Wednesday, that it considers it better to send another spacecraft, "Soyuz MS-23", to bring back the Russian astronauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitry Petline, as well as the American astronaut Frank Rubio.

"It was decided to send the Soyuz MS-23 spacecraft on February 20, 2023 without passengers," Roskosmos said in a statement, but with the necessary equipment.

The vehicle was initially scheduled to take off on March 16 to carry three more astronauts to the International Space Station.

"We don't call this Soyuz a backup," said ISS program manager at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Joel Montalbano. "It's a replacement."

"For the time being, the crew is safe on board the station," he added.

The date for the return of the two Russian flagships and the American flagship, which was initially scheduled for March 28, was not announced.

But their mission will be extended for "several months," said Sergey Krikalev, director of manned flights at Roskosmos, during a press conference.

In addition, the damaged vehicle will return to Earth empty, perhaps "in the middle or at the end of March," according to Krikalev.

Emergency scenarios

And while awaiting the arrival of the replacement vehicle, and in the event of an emergency requiring the evacuation of the International Space Station, the Russian and American space agencies are studying several scenarios. However, the two agencies confirmed that this possibility is still far away.

The first scenario is for the three crew members to be brought aboard the damaged Soyuz, despite concerns about the reachable temperature inside the spacecraft at the time of landing.

The second scenario is to reduce the "heat load" on board the Soyuz by "reducing the size of the crew."

Then, one of the three passengers will be brought back by a SpaceX-built vehicle, also currently docked on the International Space Station.

Accurate meteorite collision

The leak was detected on December 14 aboard the Soyuz spacecraft, as the two Russian cosmonauts were about to exit the station into space.

An initial assessment of the causes of the refrigerant leak attributed what happened to the possibility of a small meteor impact occurring naturally, to man-made debris in orbit, or to a malfunction in the instruments.

And on Wednesday, Roscomos confirmed that the hypothesis of a micrometeor impact "has been experimentally proven."

According to the Russian agency, a hole "less than a millimeter in diameter" was opened in a cooling tube.

Given the speed at which experts believe the object collided with the International Space Station, what happened could be caused by "a meteor that came from a random direction", and not a piece of debris that "would not have been able to stay in this orbit" so quickly, according to Sergey Krikalev.

The Russian agency ruled out any mechanical failure.

The International Space Station is one of the few remaining areas of cooperation between Moscow and Washington since the start of the Ukraine war on February 24, and the ensuing Western sanctions.

Last month, Roskosmos chief Yuri Borisov praised the solidarity of Americans aboard the International Space Station, who "reached out to help us," at a time when relations between the Kremlin and the White House were at their lowest point.

The International Space Station was launched in 1998 at the stage of US-Russian cooperation, following the space race in which the two countries engaged during the Cold War.

However, the project faced many technical problems, in addition to corruption scandals that tarnished the reputation of the Russian space sector in recent years, after it was competing with the United States in the space race.
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