Space Stations

NASA Space Station Status Report 16 December, 2022 – Soyuz MS-22 Update: Successful Thruster Test

By Keith Cowing
Status Report
December 16, 2022
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NASA Space Station Status Report 16 December, 2022 – Soyuz MS-22 Update: Successful Thruster Test
The Soyuz MS-22 crew ship is pictured docked to the Rassvet module Larger image

NASA and Roscosmos continue to evaluate an external leak that occurred Dec. 14, from the Roscosmos Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft docked to the Rassvet module of the International Space Station. Roscosmos has identified the source of the leak as the external cooling loop of the Soyuz.

As part of the ongoing evaluation and investigation, Roscosmos flight controllers conducted a successful test of the Soyuz MS-22 thrusters at 3:08 a.m. EST Friday, Dec. 16. The systems that were tested were nominal, and Roscosmos assessments of additional Soyuz systems continue. Temperatures and humidity within the Soyuz spacecraft, which remains docked to the Rassvet module, are within acceptable limits.

NASA is supporting the ongoing investigation with the use of the Canadarm2 robotic arm to provide additional viewing of the Soyuz exterior on Sunday, Dec. 18. To accommodate this change in plans, NASA has determined a new target date for the upcoming U.S. spacewalk to install an International Space Station Roll-Out Solar Array (iROSA), which was originally scheduled for Monday, Dec. 19. The spacewalk will take place Wednesday, Dec. 21.

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 data pressure sensors in the cooling loop showed low readings. At that time, Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin were preparing to conduct a spacewalk. The spacewalk was cancelled, so the cosmonauts did not exit the space station or become exposed to the leaking coolant. From data analysis and cameras aboard the space station, the majority of fluid had leaked out by yesterday, Dec. 15, around 1:30 p.m. EST.

More updates will be provided as data becomes available.

On station the Expedition 68 crew members set up a variety of advanced research gear to capture high definition video of Earth and house biology samples for observation.

Flight Engineers Josh Cassada and Frank Rubio reviewed spacewalk robotics activities with Flight Engineers Nicole Mann of NASA and Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

Cassada and Wakata also had time on Friday morning configuring hardware supporting advanced space science experiments. Cassada assembled the SphereCam-1, a digital ultra-high resolution video camera, inside the U.S. Destiny laboratory module. He pointed the camera outside Destiny’s science window, or Window Observation Research Facility, and filmed Earth demonstrating its ability to capture the highest resolution, groundbreaking 12K views from a spacecraft. Wakata activated the Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF) inside the Kibo laboratory module that will house scientific samples for future space biology research. The CBEF is an incubator that supports a variety of life science observing cells, plants, and small mammals.

Prokopyev and Petelin cleaned their Orlan spacesuits and stowed their spacewalking tools following the postponement of Wednesday night’s spacewalk.

Flight Engineer Anna Kikina also worked on post-spacewalk activities returning the station’s Russian segment to normal and checking radiation sensors worn on the Orlan suits. Kikina wrapped up her day treating surfaces inside the Zarya module with an anti-fungal agent to maintain cleanliness and health aboard the station.

On-Orbit Status Report

Significant Events:

Soyuz Thruster Test: This morning, the Russian crew completed a test of the 68S Soyuz thrusters. Performance was nominal and no issues were observed. Russian and NASA teams continue to work together to assess the vehicle.


ISS Ham Radio: A crewmember initiated ISS Ham contact with Maitland Air Cadet Association, Goderich, ON, Canada. Since the earliest space station expeditions, ISS Ham Radio has allowed groups of students in schools, camps, museums, and planetariums to hold conversations with the people living in space. As the ISS passes overhead, students have about nine minutes to ask crew members 10 to 20 questions.

Portable Pulmonary Function System (PPFS): The PuFF Calibration Syringe was lubricated in order to maintain proper calibration data The PPFS provided by the European Space Agency (ESA) is new equipment added to the already developed European Pressurized Module (EPM) pool of instruments. The PPFS is an evolution to the existing Pulmonary Function System (PFS). The PPFS is the EPM contribution to NASA’s Human Research Facility (HRF) and supports a wide range of respiratory and cardiovascular measurements.

Sphere Camera-1: The Sphere Camera-1 Hardware was assembled and installed in Node 2. Sphere Camera-1 uses a commercial off-the-shelf ultra-high resolution digital movie camera with a wide angle lens to collect footage in microgravity and evaluate technical performance of the camera. Investigators plan to use results to design and develop subsequent cameras for testing and, ultimately, provide a product that could support groundbreaking imaging of space with greater resolution, detail, and sharpness than anything currently available commercially.


On-board Training (OBTExtravehicular Activity (EVA) Robotics Onboard Trainer (ROBoT) Session: Today, the crew reviewed the 4A ISS Roll Out Solar Array (IROSA) EVA procedure using the OBT guide for ROBoT simulation setup/reconfiguration. In this session each crewmember role-played their assigned roles during the EVA, with the focus placed on communication, clearances, and abort/termination plans. ROBoT was designed to provide the ISS on-orbit real-time operator-in-the-loop training capability for the Mobile Servicing System (MSS).

USOS EVA Preparation Activities: In preparation for the upcoming 4A IROSA EVA, the crew cleaned multiple Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) helmets, installed helmet lights, and performed a checkout of Rechargeable EVA Battery Assembly (REBA) powered hardware for glove heaters and EMU TV prior to EVA. During this EVA the EV crew will install a fourth IROSA to the 4A power channel on the port truss of the ISS in order to generate more power to the ISS.

Environmental Health System (EHS) Potable Water Dispenser (PWD) Sample Collect: Today, the crew collected water samples from the PWD for in-flight and post-flight analysis. Analysis of the water samples collected during this activity will occur during separate activities later in the timeline. The ISS PWD has been designed to interface to US food/beverage packages and is located in the Galley Rack of Node 1. It receives water from the ISS Potable Water Bus and has the capability of dispensing hot and ambient temperature de-iodinated water.

Completed Task List Activities:

  • N/A

Today’s Ground Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

  • ACS Software Thruster Enable and Disable
  • ASIM Daily File Uplink and Transfer
  • CCS S-Band Telemetry Format Swap
  • JEM Mode Transition from ROBO to Standard
  • SSCNAS Power Troubleshooting

Look Ahead Plan

Saturday, December 17 (GMT 351)

  • VEG-05 Plant Check (NASA)
  • Veggie Monitor Questionnaire (NASA)


  • Crew Off Duty

Sunday, December 18 (GMT 352)

  • Crew Off Duty


  • Crew Off Duty

Monday, December 19 (GMT 353)

  • TBD


  • TBD

Today’s Planned Activities:
All activities are complete unless otherwise noted.

  • Cell Biology Experiment Facility – Left (CBEF-L) Item Gathering
  • EHS Coliform Water Processing
  • EHS PWD Sample Collect
  • EHS Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOCA) PWD Sample Analysis
  • EHS TOCA Sample Data Record and Waste Water Bag (WWB) Changeout
  • Install Li-Ion Batteries into Battery Stowage Compartment
  • EVA Battery Operations Terminal Charge Initiate
  • EVA HAP Extender and Helmet Absorption Band Installation
  • EVA Helmet Clean
  • US EVA Helmet Light Installation
  • Metal Oxide (METOX) Regeneration Termination
  • Rechargeable EVA Battery Assembly (REBA) Powered Hardware Checkout
  • Food Consolidation
  • In Flight Maintenance (IFM) International Docking Adapter Multi-Layer Insulation (MLI) R&R and Bracket Installation
  • ISS HAM Columbus Pass
  • JEM Utility Outlet Panel (UOP) Cable Reconfiguration 1
  • 20-Port Switch Adapter Removal and Port Tape Over
  • JEM Water Recovery System (JWRS) Bypass Line Valve OPS [Aborted]
  • MELFI 2 Ice Brick Insert 4
  • MELFI 3 Ice Brick Insert 2
  • On-board Training (OBT) EVA Robotics Onboard Trainer (ROBoT) Session
  • Portable PFS PuFF Volume Calibration Syringe Maintenance
  • Robotics Procedure Review and Conference
  • ISS HAM Radio Power Up
  • Sphere Cam1 Hardware Assembly, Gather, and Node 2 Forward Filming Shot 1
  • Station Support Computer Network Attached Storage (SSCNAS) Power Troubleshooting
  • VHF2 Communications Check from Soyuz 751 via US Ground Sites

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