Leaky Russian spacecraft lands on Earth from space station: Report

Moscow: An unmanned Russian spacecraft, which suffered a major coolant leak in December last year, has successfully landed on Earth from the International Space Station (ISS), Roscosmos, the Russian space agency said on Tuesday.

“Its de-orbiting and descent to Earth went smoothly!” Roscosmos wrote on Telegram.

The leaky Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft cast off from its docking port on the Russian-built Rassvet module of the ISS without any astronauts aboard at 5:57 a.m. EDT (3:27 p.m. IST).

The agency also noted that the Soyuz delivered “218 kg of cargo from the ISS, including the results of scientific experiments and station equipment for analysis or reuse”.

The Soyuz MS-22 manned spacecraft had blasted off from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on September 21, 2022, taking Sergei Prokopyev, Dmitry Petelin and a NASA astronaut to the ISS for a six-month stay in orbit.

In December last year, the crew aboard the ISS found damage to the outer skin of the instrument-assembly compartment of Soyuz MS-22.

They reported that the warning device of the spaceship’s diagnostic system went off, indicating a pressure drop in the cooling system, Xinhua news agency reported, citing a statement by Roscosmos.

Russian cosmonaut Anna Kikina, using a camera on a manipulator mounted on the Nauka multifunctional laboratory module, photographed and filmed the outer surface of the Soyuz MS-22 and transmitted the data back to Earth for study.

The spacecraft will now be studied to better understand how its coolant leak occurred, as well as what a landing without coolant is likely to aid in future missions, Roscosmos officials said.


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