Space Stations

Soyuz MS-22 Leak Update

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
December 19, 2022
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Soyuz MS-22 Leak Update
The Soyuz MS-22 crew ship is pictured docked to the Rassvet module Larger image

NASA and Roscosmos continue to evaluate an external cooling loop leak from the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft docked to the Rassvet module of the International Space Station. Temperatures and humidity within the Soyuz spacecraft remain within acceptable limits. Roscosmos has identified the source of the leak as the external cooling loop of the Soyuz.

As part of the ongoing evaluation and investigation, a robotic inspection of the suspected leak area was completed Dec. 18, using cameras on the Canadarm2 robotic arm. A small hole was observed, and the surface of the radiator around the hole showed discoloration. Roscosmos is evaluating the imagery to determine if this hole could have resulted from micrometeoroid debris or if it is one of the pre-manufactured radiator vent holes.

Space station operations and research continue while station managers and international partners collect and analyze data, and work to develop a forward course of action for the Soyuz and its crew.

With help from the cosmonauts aboard the station, Roscosmos conducted tests on additional Soyuz systems on Dec. 16, including a short demonstration of the spacecraft’s propulsion system. So far, testing has shown no additional issues.

The Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft carried NASA astronaut Frank Rubio and Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin into space after launching from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Sept. 21.

The leak was first detected around 7:45 p.m. EST Dec. 14, when pressure sensors in the cooling loop showed low readings. Data analysis indicates the majority of the cooling fluid had leaked out by 1:30 p.m. Dec. 15.

At the time of the leak, Prokopyev and Petelin were preparing to conduct a spacewalk. The spacewalk was postponed, so the cosmonauts did not exit the space station or become exposed to the leaking coolant.

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.