SpaceX to improve Crew Dragon after Soyuz incident

NASA is negotiating with SpaceX to strengthen the shielding of the Crew Dragon spacecraft after a hole formed in the Soyuz MS-22 body in December 2022. As a result, due to a tiny hole, coolant began to leak into space, which jeopardized the use of the Russian capsule to return to Earth.

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Freedom. Photo: Wikipedia

The idea of improving the protective shield against micrometeorites was raised on January 24 at a regular meeting of the commercial team. This was announced by NASA program manager Steve Stich. The reinforced shield is planned to be used in the upcoming Crew-6 mission. But negotiations are still at a very early stage.

Rescue mission

In order to rescue the MS-22 crew from the ISS, the Roscosmos space agency decided to launch an empty Soyuz on February 20 to return three crew members to Earth. The return is expected to take place in September 2023, approximately six months after the scheduled date.

However, in case of an emergency, the Soyuz MS-22 can be used for return, but only with two cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitry Petelin. A third crew member, NASA astronaut Frank Rubio, will join four Crew-5 astronauts on Endurance in a “lifeboat” scenario.

Crew Dragon was originally designed to carry up to seven people. But Endurance is equipped with only four seats. Therefore, in order to accommodate Rubio as the fifth crew member, it will be necessary to move the seat from the Soyuz. Space agencies hope that an emergency rescue operation will not be necessary.

Earlier we reported on how the Soyuz MS-22 was considered dangerous for flight.

According to Space

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