Problems on the ISS
On December 14, when the Russian cosmonauts on the space station were preparing to carry out a space walk, an unexpected spectacle surprised them. Thousands of drops of a liquid were expelled in all directions from the Soyuz spacecraft attached to the station. It was a refrigerant liquid that it keeps the interior of the ship cool when it's exposed to hot sunlight and when its flight computers are on, and that's the ship in which two Russian crew members and one American crew member are supposed to return to Earth in March of next year. .
But what happens when the vehicle that breaks down is the spacecraft that will return you back to earth, you cannot ask for a tow truck, the situation is worrying at the international space station, if another emergency occurs, the stability of the station will worsen only 4 astronauts out of 7 will be saved
After analyzing the damage using the Canadian robotic arm better known as Canadarm, a tiny hole was found that allowed the refrigerant to leak, its cause has not yet been determined but it has already been ruled out that it was a micro meteorite due to the angle that the hole shows which doesn't match any possible direction a micro meteorite could have arrived, leaving the options of an equipment failure or a particle of space debris while the specialists.
In Russia and Houston they are trying to estimate how hot the ship would get and its crew would return to Earth in it, the option of returning the empty ship to Earth and advancing the launch of another Soyuz crew ship that would carry cargo and dock it is also being contemplated. to the international space station in February instead of March. If that happens it means that for a couple of months the crew of seven on the international space station would have a single lifeboat that seats four, which is a recurring theme in movies. science fiction in an emergency who stays and who goes.
Space is a hostile place, we humans have inhabited low earth orbit continuously for decades thanks to our Ingenuity, but still on several occasions space station crews have seen emergencies such as the fire at the MIR space station in 1997, the depressurization and oxygen leak on the international space station in 2020 or its uncontrolled spins in 2021.
Too many things can go wrong and it is always necessary to have the possibility of being able to escape from some danger on board the docked ships, if an incident occurs during the couple of months that the crew of 7 will only have one ship for 4 to escape, it would be necessary to deciding who is saved and who is not, that should not happen, it can be as simple as a hole produced by space junk and that can happen at any time.
Since the end of the 1980s with the MIR space station and up to the present with the international space station, we have inhabited low earth orbit almost uninterruptedly and the need to abandon a space station due to an emergency has never arisen. The chances of that happening before the replacement for the damaged Soyuz arrives are very low, but not zero.
This is news in development and I imagine that in the next few days the situation will be clearer, it could be that the damaged Soyuz is perfectly capable of returning to Earth and for these they are exploring some possibilities, for example, returning with a trajectory that shorten the duration of the ship's solar exposure during its re-entry, thus optimizing the amount of time that crew members would experience temperatures above normal or also the possibility of returning flying manually is being studied, reducing the heat that the electronics will produce navigation computers and allowing crew members to travel a little cooler.
Although these options are not ideal, we would be calmer especially the inhabitants of the international space station, knowing that they have enough lifeboats, we just have to wait and see what conclusion the experts come to and I suppose that information could be announced in the coming weeks.
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