24/7 Space News
Russian ISS segment springs third leak in under a year
Russian ISS segment springs third leak in under a year
by AFP Staff Writers
Moscow (AFP) Oct 9, 2023

The Russian segment of the International Space Station (ISS) sprung its third coolant leak in under a year Monday, raising new questions about the reliability of the country's space program even as officials said crew members were not in danger.

Flakes of frozen coolant spraying into space were seen in an official live feed of the orbital lab provided by NASA around 1:30 pm Eastern Time (1730 GMT), and confirmed in radio chatter between US mission control and astronauts.

"The Nauka module of the Russian segment of the ISS has suffered a coolant leak from the external (backup) radiator circuit, which was delivered to the station in 2012," Russian space agency Roscosmos said on Telegram, adding temperatures remained normal in the affected unit.

"Nothing is threatening the crew and the station," added the statement.

Nauka, which means "science" in Russian and is also known as the Multipurpose Laboratory Module-Upgrade (MLM), launched in 2021.

US mission control in Houston could be heard asking astronauts on the American side to investigate.

"Hi, we're seeing flakes outside, we need a crew to go to the cupola, we think windows five or six, and confirm any visual flakes," an official said to the astronauts.

"There's a leak coming from the radiator on MLM," NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli replied a little later.

NASA later confirmed the events in a statement Monday, saying that "the crew aboard (the) station was never in any danger," and that the leak was coming from Nauka's backup radiator.

"The primary radiator on Nauka is working normally, providing full cooling to the module with no impacts to the crew or to space station operations," NASA said, adding that the crew "was asked to close the shutters on US segment windows as a precaution against contamination."

- 'Something systematic' -

This is the third coolant leak to hit the Russian side of the ISS in less than a year.

On December 15, 2022, dramatic NASA TV images showed white particles resembling snowflakes streaming out of the rear of a docked Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft for several hours.

Speculation about the cause centered on an unlucky strike by a tiny space rock, or micro meteorite.

That spaceship returned to Earth uncrewed, and then another uncrewed Soyuz was sent to replace it a few months later. Two Russians and an American crew had to stay for a year-long mission as a result, returning home only last month.

A similar leak in mid-February also affected the Russian Progress MS-21 cargo ship, which had been docked to the ISS since October 2022.

The succession of leaks lowers the probability they were caused by meteorites.

Space analyst Jonathan McDowell told AFP: "You've got three coolant systems leaking -- there's a common thread there. One is whatever, two is a coincidence, three is something systematic," he said, speculating that a subcontractor company may be at fault.

"It really just emphasises the degrading reliability of Russian space systems. When you add it to the context of their failed Moon probe in August, they're not looking great."

The Russian space sector, which has historically been the pride of the country, has been facing difficulties for years, between lack of funding, failures and corruption scandals.

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

Related Links
Space Tourism, Space Transport and Space Exploration News

Subscribe Free To Our Daily Newsletters

The following news reports may link to other Space Media Network websites.
GITAI passes all NASA safety reviews for ISS external demonstration
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Oct 01, 2023
GITAI USA Inc. and GITAI Japan Inc. (GITAI), the world's leading space robotics startup, successfully completed all NASA safety reviews required for the ISS external demonstration. Furthermore, GITAI handed over the GITAI robotic flight model to NASA in August 2023 and is now ready for launch. The GITAI robotic flight model is scheduled to journey to the ISS for its deployment in early 2024. Please note that the launch date and choice of launch vehicle remain subject to NASA's coordination. GITAI ... read more

US astronaut gets used to Earth after record-setting 371 days in space

HALO Space successfully completes second battery of test flights

Beyond the Frigid Void: Per Wimmer's Adventures in the Shadows of the Known

Russian ISS segment springs third leak in under a year

NASA prepares Artemis II rocket core stage for final assembly phase

Evolution Space to produce and test solid rocket motors at Stennis

Vega flies to bring satellites to space

France's Arianespace launches 12 satellites into space

Preparing To Drill: Sols 3975-3976

Fly across Mars's 'labyrinth of night' with Mars Express

Eclipse on Earth, Exploration on Mars

Bumping to a Better Position: Sols 3973-3974

Astronauts honored for contributions to China's space program

China capable of protecting astronauts from effects of space weightlessness

Tianzhou 5 spacecraft burns up on Earth reentry

Crew of Shenzhou XV mission honored for six-month space odyssey

Sidus Space reports registered direct offering and concurrent private placement for $2M

Terran Orbital shareholders send open letter to Board

Stoke Space Announces $100 Million in New Investment

Relativity Space and Intelsat sign multi-launch agreement for Terran R

Terran Orbital opens new printed circuit board assembly facility

Five Things to Know about NASA's Deep Space Optical Communications

NASA's Roman mission gears up for a torrent of future data

Astroscale Japan to inspect a large defunct satellite in orbit

Researchers capture first-ever afterglow of huge planetary collision in outer space

Astronomers discover first step toward planet formation

Extreme habitats: Microbial life in Old Faithful Geyser

James Webb telescope captures planet-like structures in Orion Nebula

Plot thickens in hunt for ninth planet

Large mound structures on Kuiper belt object Arrokoth may have common origin

Plot thickens in the hunt for a ninth planet

Webb finds carbon source on surface of Jupiter's moon Europa

Subscribe Free To Our Daily Newsletters


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2023 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.