11 Oct 2023 22:10

Russian ISS flight program not to change due to Nauka module radiator leak - Roscosmos

MOSCOW. Oct 11 (Interfax) - There are no plans to change the Russian flight and scientific experiments' program due to a leak of a heat exchanger of the Nauka module radiator's backup loop on the International Space Station (ISS), Roscosmos Executive Director for Manned Space Programs Sergei Krikalev said.

"Neither from the point of view of changing the flight program, nor from the point of view of the possibility of conducting scientific experiments, nor from the point of view of the crew's comfort, no changes are felt here," Krikalev said. Roscosmos released a video of his statement on Wednesday.

The examination of the damaged spot will be a new task added to the cosmonauts' upcoming spacewalk, Krikalev said.

"It will most likely be recommended to cut off this unpressurized part of the additional radiator from the overall system in order to be able to restore the operability of the backup system of the regular loop first, if necessary. And then we'll see: maybe we'll restore this part of the radiator, if necessary," he said.

The expediency of restoring the backup radiator will be defined after a detailed examination and identification of the causes of the leak, Krikalev said.

On October 9, Roscosmos said that a heat exchanger of the Nauka module radiator backup loop on the Russian ISS segment had leaked. The main thermal control loop of the module is operating normally, nothing threatens the crew and the space station, the state corporation said.

The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) later said that, according to Roscosmos flight controllers, the leakage from the radiator has stopped. This is also evidenced by images from the space station's external cameras.

The previous day, the state corporation said that cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko and Nikolai Chub would examine and photograph the leak spot to find out the causes of the leak during their spacewalk on October 25.