The coolant leak was discovered when two Russian cosmonauts were preparing for their spacewalk. Both passengers had to cancel the spacewalk. Roscosmos’ Sergei Krikalev said the Soyuz MS-22 capsule’s radiator may have leaked coolant from the meteorite impact. The investigation into the matter was launched. Now it has been known that there is a small hole in the spacecraft.
The Exp 68 crew worked today on bone loading and research operations ahead of Wednesday’s spacewalk. Mission managers also completed a robotic inspection of the leaking Soyuz crew ship. https://t.co/LEfc8vH89g
— International Space Station (@Space_Station) December 19, 2022
This work was aided by the Canadarm 2 robotic arm stationed on the International Space Station. The Soyuz was being inspected with the help of cameras installed on it. The survey work was completed on Sunday, in which some data came to light.
NASA officials said in a blog post that a small hole was seen on the Soyuz spacecraft and spots were also seen on the surface of the radiator around the hole. The Russian Space Agency is investigating whether the hole in the spacecraft was caused by micrometeorites or a manufacturing defect.
Small meteorites are a threat to spacecraft and all missions that move in space. The James Webb Telescope, the largest telescope deployed in space, was also damaged by the meteorite impact, although it did not have a major impact on the telescope’s capacity. The Soyuz spacecraft was launched in September this year. Riding on it, two Russian and one American astronauts reached the International Space Station.
If this spacecraft is not deemed fit for further flight, another Soyuz spacecraft may be launched from Kazakhstan to bring the three astronauts back to Earth. Currently, only two spacecraft bring astronauts to and from the International Space Station. These include a Soyuz and SpaceX spacecraft.