The head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, Yuri Borissov, paid tribute on Tuesday to the American solidarity during the recent rise in temperature on board a ship docked to the International Space Station (ISS) after an accidental leak.
As part of the Russian agency’s response, the cause of the leak is being identified and a special commission should be established in order to determine whether the spacecraft can be used to return cosmonauts to Earth.
“Say hello to the entire American team, they behaved in a very dignified way in this situation and reached out to help us. But I hope we will solve this on our own,” he said during an exchange with the three cosmonauts on board – Sergei Prokopiev, Dmitry Petelin and Anna Kikina.
“You have set an example for the whole world”
“I hope that this small incident that occurred with the temperature control system (of the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft) did not affect your morale and composure,” he continued, according to a transcript of the exchange published by Roscosmos. “You have set an example to the world on how to work under the most trying and difficult conditions. I hope that many politicians will learn from this,” added Yuri Borissov.
During the preparation for the spacewalk that was eventually cancelled, Russian cosmonauts Sergei Prokopiev and Dmitry Petelin discovered a leak on the Soyuz MS-22. The source of the leak was identified as coming from the cooling system of the Soyuz, and the liquid was an a priori coolant.
There are still a number of fields in which Moscow and Washington are cooperating
On Monday, Roscosmos said that the temperature had “stabilized” around 30 degrees Celsius in the Russian capsule. The agency added that the cause of the leak was being identified and that a special commission should determine whether the spacecraft can be used to return the cosmonauts to Earth. If the capsule cannot be used, the head of Roscosmos mentioned the possibility that another spacecraft, the Soyuz MS-23, will go to the ISS on “autopilot” to recover the Russian crew.
“And the Soyuz-22 will also return (to Earth) on automatic pilot,” said Yuri Borissov, during an interview on the Russian television channel Rossia-24. The ISS is one of the few fields of cooperation still in progress between Moscow and Washington since the beginning of the Russian offensive in Ukraine, launched on February 24, and the Western sanctions that followed.