NASA postpones scheduled spacewalk over Soyuz Russian incident


A spacewalk of US astronauts, scheduled for December 19, has been postponed by
two days due an incident involving the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft docked to the Rassvet module on the International Space Station, NASA said on its website.

The US space agency said it was cooperating with Russian state-run space corporation Roscosmos in establishing all circumstances surrounding the incident.

“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,” NASA said.

“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 US space agency said.

The extravehicular activity will be conducted by US Flight Engineers Josh Cassada and Frank Rubio.

The outer plating of the instrument and equipment compartment of the Soyuz MS-22 crewed spacecraft docked to the ISS was damaged on Thursday. Shortly afterwards the crew reported that a sensor was signaling a drop of pressure in the cooling system. Roscosmos told the media a troubleshooting team was analyzing the situation in order to propose further measures to be taken by Mission Control and the ISS crew.

Earlier, Roscosmos said its scheduled spacewalk had been canceled for technical reasons. As a Mission Control specialist said during a communication session with the cosmonauts, the spacewalk had been canceled due to problems with the thermal control system of the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft docked to the ISS. Inside, the spacecraft remains airtight.

Roscosmos Executive Director on manned space programs Sergey Krikalyov said the damage could have been caused by a meteoroid’s collision with a radiator.

The current ISS crew lists Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev, Dmitry Petelin and Anna Kikina, NASA astronauts Josh Cassada, Frank Rubio, Nicole Mann and JAXA astronaut Koichi Wakata.

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