WASHINGTON — It’s largely enterprise as standard on the Worldwide Area Station as NASA adapts its present actions and future plans to Russia’s resolution to exchange a broken Soyuz spacecraft docked there.
NASA astronaut Nicole Mann and JAXA astronaut Koichi Wakata will conduct a spacewalk Jan. 20 to put in a mounting bracket for a brand new photo voltaic array that will likely be delivered to the station on a future cargo mission. The spacewalk, the primary by both astronaut, is scheduled to final six and a half to seven hours.
The spacewalk is an indication that actions on the area station are persevering with largely unaffected by the damage sustained by the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft docked there Dec. 14 that Roscosmos and NASA have attributed to a micrometeoroid hit. The incident broken a spacecraft radiator and prompted a coolant leak.
The 2 businesses introduced Jan. 11 that they concluded the spacecraft could not safely return to Earth its three-person crew of Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin and NASA astronaut Frank Rubio. As a substitute, a brand new Soyuz spacecraft, Soyuz MS-23, will likely be despatched to the station and not using a crew to exchange Soyuz MS-22, which can return to Earth, additionally uncrewed.
On Jan. 18, astronauts moved Rubio’s custom-fitted seat liner from Soyuz MS-22 to the Crew Dragon spacecraft docked to the station. Within the occasion of an emergency that required the crew to evacuate, Rubio would return on the Crew Dragon whereas Prokopyev and Petelin left on Soyuz MS-22.
“We predict that may take out a number of the warmth load that’s within the Soyuz spacecraft and can assist the general posture for us,” Dina Contella, operations integration supervisor for the ISS program at NASA, throughout an Jan. 17 briefing concerning the upcoming spacewalk.
That transfer of Rubio’s seat into the Crew Dragon is just a brief measure. After Soyuz MS-23 arrives on the station, his seat liner, together with these for Prokopyev and Petelin, will likely be transferred into Soyuz MS-23. Soyuz MS-23 is scheduled to launch Feb. 20, docking with the station two days later.
The launch of Soyuz MS-23 will delay barely the Crew-6 Crew Dragon launch. At a Jan. 11 briefing, NASA mentioned it might take up to some weeks to revise the schedule for each that mission and different flights to the station within the close to future. Contella mentioned on the spacewalk briefing that Crew-6 was scheduled to launch in mid to late February, with the Crew-5 Crew Dragon returning a couple of days later.
The Crew-6 mission consists of astronaut Sultan Alneyadi from the United Arab Emirates. The UAE’s Mohammed Bin Rashid Area Centre introduced Jan. 19 that the Crew-6 mission was scheduled for launch no sooner than Feb. 26, a few week later than beforehand deliberate.
Contella mentioned that Crew-6 will likely be adopted by a cargo Dragon mission, CRS-27, in March. That may in flip be adopted by a Cygnus cargo spacecraft, NG-19, though she didn’t state when it might launch. NG-19 would be the final Cygnus spacecraft to launch on the present model of the Antares rocket as Northrop Grumman works with Firefly Aerospace on a brand new first stage of the car.
The choice to exchange Soyuz MS-22 with Soyuz MS-23 implies that Prokopyev, Petelin and Rubio will lengthen their keep on the ISS. The three initially have been scheduled to return to Earth in March however will keep as much as six extra months. Contella mentioned they may probably return in late September, a few 12 months after arriving. “We’re trying on the precise timing of that, however at this level, that might be when the car could be deliberate to come back house.”
The Soyuz coolant leak occurred as Prokopyev and Petelin have been making ready for a spacewalk, which was known as off because of this and has not but been rescheduled. “Our Russian colleagues are engaged on their ahead plans for spacewalks at this level,” she mentioned.
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