NASA has inquired about utilizing the SpaceX Dragon capsule to carry astronauts house from the Worldwide House Station (ISS) after a current 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 House Station forward of a deliberate Russian spacewalk. Whereas the Soyuz doesn’t pose any speedy hazard to the house 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 certainly one 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 house company mentioned. he wrote in a weblog put up on Dec. 30 (Opens in a brand new tab).
Associated: The Soyuz rescue spacecraft cannot attain the Worldwide House Station till February
An earlier report by Reuters mentioned the identical factor, however a NASA weblog put up confirms that the company is, in truth, contemplating utilizing the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft as a lifeboat for the Worldwide House Station. “We have requested SpaceX some questions on their potential to return further crew members on Dragon if wanted, however that is not our main focus right now,” NASA spokeswoman Sandra Jones mentioned. He mentioned in a press release to Reuters Posted final Wednesday (December 28).
There’s another choice for Roscosmos to ship a alternative Soyuz car. 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 potential, a brand new Soyuz could possibly be despatched a bit earlier…two or three weeks sooner than we are able to do at this level.
Roscosmos nonetheless Test 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 explanation for the leak was “exterior mechanical injury (Opens in a brand new tab),” although it isn’t identified if the offender was a meteorite or house 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, government director of the Worldwide Affiliation for the Development of House Safety (IAASS) and former head of spaceflight security on the European House Company, advised House.com: A leaky Soyuz poses an enormous danger. “It’s seemingly that that is the primary time that the house station doesn’t have a full capability to construct a lifeboat,” mentioned Sjuba. “It is my private feeling, but when that is true, then we’ve an enormous drawback on the house station. We’re lacking the crew escape system.”
One potential disadvantage to utilizing the Dragon as a lifeboat was the house 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 House Station sporting Russian spacesuits from Sokol.
SpaceX has but to touch upon the potential for sending a Dragon capsule to the Worldwide House Station to exchange the beleaguered Soyuz MS-22.