The Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft is in an emergency situation. It leaks and contaminates the ISS

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.

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.

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.