On Wednesday a planned Russian spacewalk in low orbit space was canceled. The Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft docked at the International Space Station (ISS) was leaking coolant. And three space travelers are temporarily stranded on board with no ride home.
The spacecraft was launched from Kazakhstan’s Baikonur Cosmodrome, on September 21st. It carried two cosmonauts and a NASA astronaut Frank Rubio to the ISS.
The Russian space agency Roscosmos posted a preliminary report. And the damage seems to be primarily to the spacecraft’s external casing. The outer skin of the Soyuz MS-22 instrumentation and equipment compartment was essentially experiencing melting.
NASA blog post details that “the external radiator cooling loop of the Soyuz is the suspected leak source.”
Russian Soyuz MS-22 international crew
Cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitry Petelin were already in their spacesuits. And preparation for a seven-hour spacewalk had begun when low-pressure readings were discovered by ground crews.
After the first was cancelation a planned December 21 spacewalk is also being indefinitely postponed.