Russian spacewalk aborted
A scheduled spacewalk by Russian cosmonauts was aborted on Thursday just before the airlock hatch was due to be opened, space agency Roscosmos has reported.
Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitry Petelin, who are currently on board the International Space Station (ISS), were scheduled to undertake Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA) to do some maintenance work, take photos of Earth, and conduct an experiment. However, the plans had to be canceled after a safety system on the Soyuz MS-22 spaceship, which is docked at the ISS, sounded the alarm.
“A commission is working to establish the cause before a decision is made on further actions of the Russian crew of the ISS and ground specialist,” Roscosmos said in a statement.
The Russian space agency later said a sensor had detected a drop in pressure in the Soyuz coolant system. The crew suspected damage to the exterior hull, which was confirmed by the third member of the team, Anna Kikina, who used a camera fitted on an external manipulator to survey the spacecraft and take images of the damaged surface.
Roscosmos stressed that all systems on the Soyuz and the ISS were functioning properly and no lives were at risk. Mission control will analyze the data before planning further action, it said.
The news website space.com reported that Prokopyev and Petelin had already donned their spacesuits and were in the process of depressurizing the airlock when the EVA was called off, based on livestreamed footage of the mission.