A Russian spacecraft is “leaking uncontrollably” in space, and experts are unsure as to why.
The strange occurrence stopped a spacewalk scheduled for Wednesday night (December 14) after it was found that the craft – which is attached to the International Space Station – had sprung a huge leak.
It was noticed just seconds before Russian astronauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin were set to go into space, as they were suited up and in a depressurized airlock.
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But they were stopped once the leak was spotted, and it was identified that it was coming from an “external cooling loop” at the end of the Soyuz capsule.
According to ISS public affairs officer Rob Navias during a live stream of the event, the leak was described as being “fairly substantial”.
And a Roscosmos (Russian space programme) spokesman said: “The crew reported that the warning device of the ship's diagnostic system went off, indicating a pressure drop in the cooling system.
“A visual inspection confirmed the leak, after which it was decided to interrupt the planned extravehicular activities by the crew members of the Russian segment of the ISS, Sergey Prokopiev and Dmitry Petelin.
“At the moment, all systems of the ISS and the ship are operating normally, the crew is safe
“After analysing the situation, a decision will be made on the further actions of both specialists on Earth and members of the crew of the ISS Russian segment.”
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And NASA added: “NASA and Roscosmos will continue to work together to determine the next course of action following the ongoing analysis.
“The crew members aboard the space station are safe, and were not in any danger during the leak.”
It has not yet been confirmed how they plan to stop the leak, especially as the Soyuz capsule is set to be used to bring three of those on-board back to Earth early next year.
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