NASA canceled a spacewalk scheduled for October 12 on the International Space Station. Another NASA spacewalk, which was scheduled for October 20, was also postponed. The cancellation was due to the Russian Nauka module. It is continued to investigate the cause of the leakage of ammonia from the backup radiator.
The leak of a toxic substance was noticed earlier this week, but now it has stopped. First, the emergency situation was reported by the dispatchers of Roscosmos and then confirmed by NASA surveillance cameras, which showed that the remaining drops of coolant were leaking out of the radiator.
NASA said that the main radiator of the Nauka continued to operate normally, providing full cooling of the module, adding that neither the crew of seven people nor the facility were in any danger.
This leak occurred after two other similar incidents on the ISS almost a year ago. The first was in December 2022, when coolant started leaking from the docked Soyuz spacecraft. The capsule was deemed dangerous for the return to Earth of two Russian and one American crew members.
A new capsule had to be sent to replace it, and the schedule adjustment led to the fact that the trio remaining in orbit spent six months longer in orbit than originally planned. It even helped American Frank Rubio set a new record for the longest stay in orbit among NASA astronauts. All three successfully returned to Earth last month.
An investigation into the causes of the Soyuz leak concluded that it was most likely the result of a tiny meteoroid hitting the spacecraft. A similar incident occurred in January when a Russian cargo spaceship also started leaking. It was believed that the reason for this was also the hit of a small object into the spacecraft.
How did the astronauts react?
The first of two spacewalks, scheduled to take place on Thursday, involves Loral O’Hara from NASA and Andreas Mogensen from the European Space Agency. When they finally begin, the pair will collect samples for analysis to find out if microorganisms exist on the outside of the orbital complex.
Reacting to the news of the postponement, Mogensen wrote on the social network X: “I fully support the safety-first approach we always take when it comes to space, even if it means waiting a bit longer to go on our spacewalk.”
After the investigation of the radiator leak is completed, NASA will announce new dates for two spacewalks.
Earlier we talked about the Luna-25 as a history of Russia’s space mistakes.
According to Space
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