Russian space chief praises US after ISS coolant leak

Russian space chief praises US after ISS coolant leak

Russian space chief praises US after ISS coolant leak

The head of Russia’s space agency Roscosmos on Tuesday praised Russia-US cooperation at the International Space Station after a major coolant leak from a Soyuz crew pod.

“Say hello to the entire American team. They have proven to be very worthy in this situation and have given us a helping hand,” Borisov told the Russian crew aboard the ISS. “But I hope we manage on our own in the future”.

“You are an example to the whole world on how to cooperate in the most challenging and difficult situation. Let many politicians learn from you,” he added, according to a transcript released by Roscosmos.

Space has remained a rare avenue of cooperation between Moscow and Washington since the beginning of the Russian offensive in Ukraine and subsequent Western sanctions against Russia.

The ISS was launched in 1998 at a time of increased cooperation between the US and Russia following their Space Race competition during the Cold War.

Russian cosmonauts Sergei Prokopyev and Dmitry Petelin, as well as American astronaut Frank Rubio, flew from Kazakhstan to the ISS on a Soyuz rocket on September 21.

It is planned to return them to Earth in March.

The coolant leak reported Thursday caused the two Russians to cancel a routine spacewalk at the last minute and could potentially impact the three crew members’ return flight to Earth.

“I hope the little incident we had with the temperature control system didn’t affect your mood and calmness,” said Borisov.

“Let’s hope your mission completes as planned.”

Roscosmos and NASA said the leak from the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft did not pose any danger to those aboard the ISS.

Roscosmos said Monday that after an initial spike in temperature inside the Soyuz capsule, it had “stabilized” at around 30 degrees Celsius.

It added that the cause of the leak was being determined and a special committee would determine whether the capsule could be used to return the astronauts to Earth.

Borisov said another ship would have to be sent to the ISS if Soyuz MS-22 was deemed unsuitable for that mission.

NASA astronauts Josh Cassada and Nicole Mann, Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata and Russian cosmonaut Anna Kikina were flown to the ISS in October aboard a SpaceX spacecraft.

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