NASA and Roscosmos are working out how to get two cosmonauts and an astronaut back home after their spacecraft sprung a leak.
Three residents of the International Space Station are facing an uncertain future after a Russian Soyuz capsule sprung a dramatic coolant leak last month that has left the craft’s spaceworthiness in doubt.
NASA said in a statement last week that it “reached out to SpaceX about its capability to return additional crew members aboard Dragon if needed in an emergency, although the primary focus is on understanding the post-leak capabilities of the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft.”
NASA astronaut Frank Rubio and Russian cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitry Petelin rode the Soyuz MS-22 to the station last year and were scheduled to take it back to Earth in March.
NASA and Russian space agency Roscosmos are reviewing the cause of the leak, which may have been from a tiny meteorite, and are evaluating how to proceed.
Other possible ways forward could involve using MS-22 as planned if it’s deemed safe, or Russia could potentially send up a replacement Soyuz spacecraft.