Another piece of Russian hardware has sprung a leak aboard the International Space Station, according to a post shared by NASA and Roscosmos. The new leak, which is coming from the Nauka science module, appears to be related to an external radiator. The leak was discovered Monday afternoon.
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NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli first noticed the coolant leaking from the radiator, creating a snow-like stream of flurries outside the station. These flakes seemed to come from the Nauka module attached to Russian segment.
Moghbeli and the other station crew members shuttered the US segment from the Russian segment, but further investigation into the leak shows that the astronauts were never in any real danger. Despite the lack of danger, this new leak from the Nauka module calls to question just how reliable Russia’s spacecraft are.
If it was a single incident, this wouldn’t be as important. However, this is the third time in the past year that Russian hardware has experienced a major leak like this. In December 2022, we saw a leak from the Soyuz MS-22, essentially stranding three astronauts on the ISS for even longer than they had originally planned to be there.
After that, another issue popped up when the Progress MS-21 supply ship attached to the ISS lost pressure in its external cooling system, causing the coolant to leak into space. With the Nauka incident, there have been three significant leaks of Russian hardware on the ISS.
Further, Russia’s previous claims say that external impacts led to the past two leaks. Is that going to be the excuse this time? If so, then why are there no problems in any other areas of the space station? NASA has seemingly gone along with the country’s explanations the past few times, but this third leak does beg the question of just how reliable Russian hardware is in space.
Of course, the ISS is already set to retire in the early 2030s. But NASA is doing everything possible to get more time in the aging space station. Is the space station capable of enduring those extra years? Is Russia’s hardware? A long meeting between NASA, Roscosmos, and other international partners on the ISS is scheduled for later today, so we’ll hopefully know more about this particular issue soon.
The post Russia’s Nauka science module on the ISS has sprung a leak appeared first on BGR.