NASA and Roscosmos canceled a spacewalk by two Russian cosmonauts on Wednesday night as they were preparing to depart the International Space Station due to an apparent coolant leak from a docked space capsule.
Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin were not in danger, nor were other astronauts from the orbital outpost, NASA’s Johnson Space Center said. The cosmonauts had donned their spacesuits and depressurized an airtight compartment when the leak was identified on live video.
It is the second time that the cosmonauts have had to cancel the walk. In their first attempt, on November 25, they planned to move a radiator from one module attached to the space station to another. On that occasion there was a problem with the coolant pumps in the Orlan suits of the cosmonauts, made in Russia.
In the incident on Wednesday, specialists on the ground saw a flow of fluid and particles in the images of a camera that records live from space, and recorded a pressure drop in the instruments coming from the Soyuz MS-22 capsule that carried Prokopyev and Petelin, along with NASA astronaut Frank Rubio, to the ISS in September.
The leak continued from the Soyuz capsule, attached to one of the space station modules, hours after its discovery.
The cosmonauts restored the pressure in the airlock, removed their suits and returned to the space station, according to NASA.
The Russian space agency and NASA were planning to investigate the leak on the Soyuz to determine how the capsule might have been affected. At first it was not clear what effect it would have on the crew’s mission.
In the orbital port there are four other astronauts and another cosmonaut.
Source: El Nuevo Herald