An uncrewed Russian cargo spacecraft docked at the International Space Station on Saturday, but engineers at the Russian Mission Control Center outside Moscow detected a depressurization inside the Progress MS-21 cargo ship’s coolant loop. As a result, the hatches between the station and the Progress MS-21 were temporarily locked to ensure the incident did not affect the orbiting outpost. According to Roscosmos, the temperature and pressure on board the ISS remain normal and there is no threat to the life and health of the crew. Sergei Krikalev, head of Roscosmos’s crewed programs, clarified that there was depressurization of the craft’s coolant loop. NASA and Russian specialists are working together to troubleshoot the coolant leak, and Roscosmos stated that the incident “will have no impact on the future station program.” The hatches were reopened on the same day and the temperatures and pressures aboard the station are all normal. The uncrewed cargo spacecraft, carrying trash, was scheduled to undock from the space station and deorbit over the Pacific Ocean on Feb. 17. Earlier on Saturday, the Progress MS-22 successfully delivered almost three tons of food, water, fuel, and scientific equipment for the crew. This follows a similar incident in December with the Soyuz crew capsule, which was hit by a tiny meteoroid that left a small hole in the exterior radiator and sent coolant spewing into space. The problem with the Soyuz has forced three of the current crew on the station—Russians Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitry Petelin and NASA astronaut Frank Rubio—to extend their mission. They will now return to Earth on a replacement Soyuz that Russia is due to launch on Feb. 20. Russia and the United States continue to collaborate closely on the ISS despite the damage to their relations from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. At the moment, there are seven crewmembers on board—three Americans, three Russians, and one Japanese.
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