NASA asks SpaceX if it can bring 3 astronauts back from the International Space Station in an emergency after a coolant leak in a Russian spacecraft

NASA says it has reached out to Elon Musk’s SpaceX about a possible emergency mission to return a crew from the International Space Station.Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

  • NASA considered SpaceX for a back-up plan to return the International Space Station crew to Earth amid the Soyuz leak.

  • NASA and the Russian Space Agency are investigating the leak, which began in December.

  • Two cosmonauts and a cosmonaut were scheduled to return home in March in a Soyuz capsule.

NASA reached out to Elon Musk’s SpaceX to see if it was able to return three crew members from the International Space Station (ISS) after a docked Russian spacecraft leaked.

US Space Agency He said In a blog post on Friday, he asked if SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft had the ability to facilitate a return should an emergency arise.

The agency added that the primary focus was on understanding the post-spill capabilities of the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft.

The Soyuz capsule was scheduled to return the three crew members in March after their transfer to the International Space Station on September 21 for a six-month mission. NASA. The crew consists of two cosmonauts, Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitry Petlin, and American astronaut Frank Rubio.

NASA and Russian space agency Roscosmos have been working together to investigate the leak and determine the next steps, according to the agency.

“We have asked SpaceX some questions regarding its ability to return additional crew members aboard Dragon if needed, but that is not our primary focus at this time,” a NASA spokeswoman said in a statement. Reuters On December 28th.

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NASA and SpaceX did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

The external leak was first detected in a Soyuz capsule when two cosmonauts from the Russian Space Agency were preparing for a spacewalk. NASA he said on Dec. 14.

screenshots Mutual A report by NASA in December showed the leak, which looks like white particles, sprayed from the Soyuz spacecraft, which is docked at the International Space Station.

Roscosmos said on December 22 that it was considering a “rescue” mission to return crew members to Earth earlier than expected. Reuters reported. This will involve flying an empty spacecraft to the International Space Station to pick them up, according to the report.

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