Wednesday, January 11, 2023

NASA to adjust timetable of flights to ISS after Soyuz MS-22 incident

NASA to adjust timetable of flights to ISS after Soyuz MS-22 incident

The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will adjust the schedule of flights to the International Space Station (ISS) taking into account the incident with the Russian Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft and its consequences, the head of the US ISS program, Joel Montalbano said in a telephone press conference on Wednesday.

"Looking forward now that the state commission has made its decision, NASA will take the next couple of weeks to work with the commercial crew program, the US domestic partners and Russian side and laying up flight plans for the next few months," Montalbano said, adding that the launch of the Crew-6 mission was scheduled for February in accordance with the original plan.

The external loop of the Soyuz MS-22’s thermal control system developed a leak on December 15, 2022. A troubleshooting commission was quickly created to look into the emergency. Its verdict was the Soyuz MS-22 would have to be returned to Earth in a crewless mode. The crew will travel back home on the Soyuz MS-23 spacecraft, which will leave for the ISS on February 20 without a crew. Initially, the launch of Soyuz MS-23 was scheduled for March 16, 2023 with the crew of the 69th long-term expedition - Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko and Nikolay Chub and NASA astronaut Loral O'Hara.


 The Soyuz spaceship does not need any design changes following the recent capsule leak, Sergei Krikalev, executive director for human space flight programs at the Russian space agency, said on Wednesday.

"No, this is technically not even reasonable because this is the radiator that is supposed to reject the heat and if you put something on top of it, it will not do job," Krikalev said when asked whether he sees any need for design changes after the recent capsule leak. "The unit is built in such way that it should be exposed to open space to radiate the heat."

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