Russia will launch one of its two leaky space stations over the ocean

Russia will dismantle a leaky supply ship that docked on the International Space Station this weekend, allowing it to burn up in the Pacific Ocean, according to NASA.

Russia’s Roscosmos space agency has decided to bring back the Progress 82 cargo capsule with an engine burnout scheduled for Saturday at 10:15 p.m. ET. They made the decision after pulling the ship out of port(Opens in a new tab) Friday night to get to know his radiator better.

There will be no astronauts on the deorbiting spaceship as it is not designed for passengers. NASA said the ship was loaded with debris(Opens in a new tab).


The space station has sprung a leak. NASA and Russia just revealed why.

The launch follows the discovery of a coolant leak on the spacecraft on February 11(Opens in a new tab)This makes it the second Russian spacecraft to leak from the space station in the past two months.

A Soyuz capsule also suffered a coolant leak in December 2022, leaving three crew members with no way back. After investigating the first leak, Russian and US space officials believed that a micrometeoroid smaller than the tip of a pencil had caused the puncture, not a manufacturing defect. The coolant seeps into space, fixed live(Opens in a new tab)was designed to keep the cabin at a comfortable temperature.

However, officials have not yet detailed what caused the leak from the cargo ship.

“The entire NASA and Roscosmos team has continued to work together to investigate the cause of this situation, and we will continue to do so,” Jeff Arendt, chief of NASA’s space station engineering office, said at an unrelated press conference Friday. “We will know more in the coming days.”

“We will know more in the coming days.”

Three space station crew members walking

Roscosmos has investigated a coolant leak on the spacecraft that was scheduled to send an astronaut and two astronauts home in March 2023.
Credit: NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA / AFP via Getty Images

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Both agencies had previously determined that the leaky crew capsule was not fit to bring the three men home. NASA astronaut Frank Rubio(Opens in a new tab) and Russian cosmonauts Sergey Prokopev and Dmitry Petelin, who arrived at the space station in September 2022, were scheduled to spend six months at the Earth-orbiting laboratory, with a return trip scheduled for March.

But it is not clear when they will fly home.

Despite the Russia-Ukraine war and geopolitical tensions between Russia and the United States, the two countries’ space agencies have continued to cooperate on the space station.

Joel Montalbano, NASA’s space station program manager, said in January that the crew took well to the news that the return trip was still TBD, were excited to do research in space and were ready to stay all year if needed.

“I might have to fly another ice cream cone to reward them,” he said at the time.

Earlier on Saturday, Roscosmos said it wanted to launch the empty spacecraft on February 24, according to news broadcasts.(Opens in a new tab). According to a report published by Agence France-Presse on Saturday, the state commission must approve the new date.

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