A planned spacewalk by the Russian space agency Roscosmos has been called off following the discovery of a coolant leak coming from the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft, which is currently docked to the International Space Station.
NASA’s Rob Navias, speaking on the NASA TV broadcast, called it a “fairly significant” leak. Live images during the broadcast showed liquid spewing out from the Soyuz. Navias said the leak was first observed around 7:45 p.m. ET Wednesday.
The Soyuz spacecraft is docked to the Russian segment of the space station.
The crew is safe, and all systems of the space station and the ship are operating normally, according to Roscosmos, in a statement in Russian released Thursday morning on Twitter. (CNN translated the statement.)
“The crew reported that the warning device of the ship’s diagnostic system went off, indicating a pressure drop in the cooling system,” according to Roscosmos. “A visual inspection confirmed the leak, after which it was decided to interrupt the planned extravehicular activities by the crew members of the ISS Russian Segment Sergey Prokopiev and Dmitry Petelin.”
Navias said the cause of the coolant leak is “unknown and the effect at this point unknown as Russian managers continue to look over the data and consult with both NASA managers and engineers” and outside experts. He said the astronauts inside the space station were “never in any danger.”
Russian cosmonaut Anna Kikina, using the camera on Russia’s Nauka module on the space station, “photographed and filmed the outer surface of the ship,” according to Roscosmos. “The data was transmitted to Earth, and the specialists have already begun to study the images.”
“No decisions have been made regarding the integrity of the Soyuz MS-22 or what the next course of action will be,” Navias added, wrapping up NASA-TV coverage of the canceled spacewalk.
Roscosmos added that the situation will be analyzed before a decision is made about what comes next.
NASA took a similar tone in a Thursday statement: “NASA and Roscosmos will continue to work together to determine the next course of action following the ongoing analysis.”
The Soyuz MS-22 ferried NASA astronaut Frank Rubio and two Russian cosmonauts to the space station on September 21 and is scheduled to bring them back to Earth in late March.