Russian Space Agency canceled the spacewalk of two astronauts due to a coolant leak from the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft. The leak was discovered precisely during the preparation for the 7-hour off-ship activity.

Most likely, there was a breakdown of the ship’s thermoregulation system, which maintains the temperature/humidity necessary for the crew. There is a possibility of contamination of the outer surface of the ISS with antifreeze, which can affect electrical connectors, external instruments, portholes, optics, sensors and solar cells.

Soyuz MC-22

Roscosmos and NASA are working together to resolve this extraordinary situation. Currently, Russian astronauts are remotely inspecting the site of a possible hole using the cameras of the European Robotic Arm (ERA) manipulator.

Soyuz MS-22

The most interesting question is whether the Soyuz MS-22 with a damaged thermoregulation system will be able to make a safe landing. Among the solution options are the localization and elimination of damage in orbit, or an emergency landing of the ship without a crew and the launch of an empty Soyuz MS to replace it. As a last resort, you will have to ask Elon Musk for help.

Soyuz MS-22 launched to the ISS on September 21, 2022, and its return to Earth was scheduled for March 18, 2023. The crew includes two Russians – Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitriy Petelin, and NASA astronaut Francisco Rubio. Another Russian, Anna Kikina, arrived at the ISS on October 5, 2022 as part of the SpaceX Crew-5 mission.