A planned spacewalk by the Russian space agency Roscosmos has been canceled following the discovery of a coolant leak 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 “quite significant” leak. Live images during the broadcast showed liquid pouring out of the Soyuz. Navias said the leak was first observed around 7:45 p.m. ET on Wednesday.
The Soyuz spacecraft is docked to the Russian segment of the space station.
The crew is safe and all space station and spacecraft systems are working normally, according to Roscosmos, in a Russian-language statement posted Thursday morning on Twitter. (CNN translated the statement.)
“The crew reported that the ship’s diagnostic system warning device has tripped, indicating a pressure drop in the cooling system,” according to Roscosmos. “A visual inspection confirmed the leak, after which it was decided to discontinue the extravehicular activities planned by the crew members of the Russian segment of the ISS Sergey Prokopiev and Dmitry Petelin.”
Navias said the cause of the coolant leak is “unknown and the effect at this time unknown, as Russian managers continue to review the data and consult with 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 Russia’s Nauka module camera on the space station, “photographed and filmed the outer surface of the spacecraft,” according to Roscosmos. “The data was transmitted to Earth, and 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’s coverage of the canceled spacewalk.
Roscosmos added that the situation will be analyzed before making a decision on what comes next.
NASA took a similar tone in a Thursday’s statement: “NASA and Roscosmos will continue to work together to determine the next course of action following the ongoing analysis.”
The Soyuz MS-22 transported NASA astronaut Frank Rubio and two Russian cosmonauts to the space station on September 21 and is scheduled to return them to Earth in late March.