NASA Asks SpaceX About Returning ISS Crew: A Russian Soyuz spacecraft suffered a significant coolant leak in December, putting the lives of three ISS inhabitants in jeopardy. NASA is still trying to figure out how to get the sick crew members back home while the inquiry continues. SpaceX might have a part in this.
According to a statement released by NASA last week, the agency “reached out to SpaceX about their capability to return extra crew aboard Dragon if needed in an emergency, while the major focus is on knowing the post-leak capabilities of the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft.”
A call to SpaceX was unanswered at the time of publication. Frank Rubio of NASA, Sergey Prokopyev of Russia, and Dmitry Petelin of Russia traveled the Soyuz MS-22 to the station in December 2017. The trio was set to return to Earth in March 2018.
NASA and the Russian space agency, Roscosmos, are investigating the leak and determining the following steps; they suspect a small meteorite was to blame.
International Space Station Shines In Glamour Shots From SpaceX Crew Dragon!
Image Source: Thedailybeast
After a series of successful Crew Dragon missions to the ISS, SpaceX may be able to deploy a vehicle capable of returning the three astronauts home. It’s not as easy as sending a spacecraft aloft because SpaceX creates specialized suits for its Dragon riders.
SpaceX’s future Crew-6 mission, scheduled for an early 2023 launch, might be significantly affected by any rescue operation. If MS-22 can be used safely as intended, that’s one option, while Russia might also launch a replacement Soyuz spacecraft.
For both routine and emergency returns of the Soyuz crew, NASA and Roscosmos “continue to conduct a variety of engineering studies” and “work with other international partners.” At some point this month, the agencies will likely make a call on how to proceed with the predicament at hand.
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For almost 4 years, Jason Martin has been a freelance writer for newspapers, journals, blogs, books, and online material. He covers the most recent news as well as many other topics.