Astronauts’ spacewalk around the International Space Station scheduled for today is cancelled. Instead of installing an additional solar panel, the crew will have to dodge a piece of space debris formed as a result of the Russian anti-satellite weapon test.
Astronauts’ spacewalk is delayed
Astronauts Josh Cassada and Frank Rubio’s were scheduled to perform a spacewalk today, but it did not happen. This activity outside the ISS was scheduled for 14:45 Kyiv time. However, shortly before its start, it turned out that a piece of Russian space debris was approaching the station. It was probably formed as a result of the test of an anti-satellite weapon last fall.
Therefore, a dodging maneuver is scheduled for 15:42 Kyiv time. It will involve the engines of the Russian Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft. The situation is not critical, but the delay of spacewalk cannot be characterized as pleasant.
During this outing, Cassada and Rubio were to install a new iROSA solar panel. It is the fourth of six planned and will significantly expand the power capabilities of the station. Astronauts Mann and Wakata were to help with its installation operating the Canadarm2 robotic arm.
Problems with Soyuz
Today’s situation is a continuation of the chain of events that began on December 14. At that time, Russian cosmonauts were supposed to work outside the station. But a coolant leak from the Soyuz MS-22 made this activity impossible.
On December 18, cameras on Canadarm2 were used to understand what happened to the Russian ship. They saw a hole next to a possible leak. But it is still not clear how serious the problem is.
Cassada and Rubio were scheduled to go out on December 19. But experts decided to take another look at the Russian ship using the robotic manipulator. And now a situation has arisen, when the Russians are once again forced to use their unreliable equipment in order to save the station from the consequences of their own activities.
This story is far from over. After all, Rubio and two Russian cosmonauts were supposed to return to Earth on the Soyuz MS-22. And if experts come to the conclusion that this is impossible, another ship will have to be sent from Earth. According to the materials of www.space.com