According to the Russian space agency Roscosmos | New leak on the ISS, without danger to the crew – La Presse

(Moscow) Russia’s space agency Roscosmos said on Monday that the crew of the International Space Station (ISS) was not in danger despite a new coolant leak in its segment, the third such incident in less than a year.

Posted at 4:43 p.m.

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“The Nauka module of the Russian segment of the ISS suffered a coolant leak from the external (emergency) cooling circuit delivered to the station in 2012,” Roskosmos reported on Telegram.

According to the Russian agency, “nothing threatens the crew and the station.” “The main thermal control circuit of the module is functioning normally and maintaining comfortable conditions in the living area of ​​the module,” she said.

There are currently seven people on board the ISS: three Russians, two Americans, a Dane and a Japanese.

The exchange with the ISS is partly broadcast live on the Internet, and at the end of the day an employee of the control center on Earth asked part of the crew to go to the dome, an observation dome that allows the astronauts to see outside.

“We’re seeing flakes outside,” he told them, prompting them to try to confirm “the place of origin.”

“There is a leak in the radiator of the MLM” (Multipurpose Laboratory Module, the other name for the Nauka segment), astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli said later.

NASA did not immediately release an official statement on the incident.

Repeated incidents

There have been several leak incidents recently.

In December, a Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft docked with the ISS suffered a coolant leak due to the impact of a micrometeorite, according to Moscow, which decided to send the MS-22 spacecraft as a replacement. 23.

This incident forced two Russian cosmonauts and an American astronaut to stay aboard the ISS longer than expected. At the end of September they were finally able to return safely to Earth.

A similar leak to the one in December also affected another Russian ship that docked at the ISS in mid-February, the cargo ship Progress MS-21, which was not intended to carry passengers.

“There is a common feature across three coolant leaks,” astronomer and space analyst Jonathan McDowell commented for AFP in Washington. “One is nothing, two is a coincidence, three is something systemic. »

“This highlights the reduced reliability of Russian space systems,” he added. “Perhaps it is a cooling system subcontractor that needs to get its act together, or perhaps it reflects something more systemic about the quality controls in the Russian program. »

Russia’s space sector, historically the country’s pride, has been mired in trouble for years, marked by a lack of funding, failures and corruption scandals.

The ISS is one of the few areas of cooperation between Moscow and Washington since the start of the Russian offensive in Ukraine and the subsequent international sanctions.