Thursday, December 29, 2022

NASA Considers SpaceX As A Backup Rescue Plan for Crew of Russia's Leaky Soyuz

 NASA is exploring whether SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft can potentially offer an alternative ride home for some crew members of the International Space Station after a Russian capsule sprang a coolant leak while docked to the orbital lab.

The Dec. 14 leak, which emptied the Soyuz of a vital fluid used to regulate crew cabin temperatures, has derailed Russia's space station routines, with engineers in Moscow examining whether to launch another Soyuz to retrieve the three-man team that flew to ISS aboard the crippled MS-22 craft.

SpaceX' potential involvement in a mission led by Russia underscores the degree of precaution NASA is taking to ensure its astronauts can safely return to Earth, should one of the other contingency plans arranged by Russia fall through.

The leaky Soyuz capsule ferried U.S. astronaut Frank Rubio and cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dimitri Petelin to the space station in September for a six-month mission. They were scheduled to return to Earth in March 2023.

The station's four other crew members - two more from NASA, a third Russian cosmonaut and a Japanese astronaut - arrived in October via a NASA-contracted SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule, which also remains parked at the ISS.

Rocketry is hard, and space travel is a very risky business.  Best of luck to those astronauts and cosmonauts sitting up there in that punctured can.


  1. Ya know the number of these "work from home and make a million $s in a week" bot attacks are approaching the number of illegal aliens walking unchallenged daily across the southern border.

  2. SpaceX should send up the next Dragon with all 7 seats. Yes, 3 of them will be vacant on the trip up, and won't be molded to the cosmo/astronauts who are going to occupy them during the return, but I'm sure that they'd much prefer to ride home in a spacecraft with no leaks.

    1. It will take NASA and FAA bureaucrats years and years to approve it for five seats. And then six, and then seven. Plus a requirement for SpaceX to write a piece about some Mexican war and a $5000 'donation' each year to some "can you find this snail"-fund.

  3. m9777 says: Numerous “leaks” makes me wonder if sabotage is involved. Many Russians have Ukrainian heritage.