Elon Musk Just UPGRADED The Shield Of The Crew Dragon!
In December 2022, something blew a tiny hole in a Russian Soyuz spaceship, alarming NASA. The Soyuz was docked to the International Space Station (ISS) when it was struck, most likely by a micrometeoroid, and it is still there as of this time. The Soyuz vehicle, also known as MS-22, suffered a coolant leak as a result of the collision, making it dangerous to return astronauts to Earth other than in an emergency. And so, NASA is thinking of requesting that SpaceX strengthen their Crew Dragon’s current shielding. Now, let;s find out more about this upgrade!
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The Russian space agency Roscosmos has scheduled a launch of an empty Soyuz on February 20 in response to the hole made in the Russian Soyuz spacecraft. This launch is intended to bring the three crew members on board MS-22 back to Earth in September, which is about six months later than their original scheduled return date.
The proposal was raised during a meeting for the Commercial Crew Program on January 24th, according to Space News, and NASA is currently in the early stages of discussion with SpaceX about potentially improving the shielding on the Crew Dragon capsule.
Steve Stich, the program manager for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, said during the press conference that after an incident in December 2022 in which a small hole was made in a Russian Soyuz spacecraft, they started talking about the possibility of taking action to improve the shielding on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule. In addition, the news conference provided updates on the operations of the International Space Station and the impending SpaceX mission Crew-6, scheduled to launch on February 26.
The systems of the Crew Dragon spacecraft named Endurance, which is currently docked at the International Space Station and was launched in October on SpaceX’s Crew-5 mission for NASA, are in good shape and performing as expected, according to Sarah Walker, SpaceX’s Director of Dragon mission management. Endurance was built by SpaceX for NASA. Two of the three crew members may be evacuated from the ISS in an emergency, according to Russian officials, using the damaged Soyuz MS-22. However, the return trip wouldn’t be pleasant because the coolant system wouldn’t be working.
Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitry Petelin, two cosmonauts, are the two crew members that would travel aboard MS-22, according to Space.com. Frank Rubio, a NASA astronaut, would be the third crew member to board Endurance with the other four Crew-5 members in a “lifeboat” situation.
Before clearing the transfer of astronaut Frank Rubio from Soyuz MS-22 to the Endurance spacecraft, NASA officials said they carefully considered a number of safety concerns during a press briefing on Wednesday.
It was important to make sure there was enough oxygen available, to keep carbon dioxide levels as low as possible, and to make sure the landing would be secure. It was necessary to repurpose supplies already on board the ISS in order to add a fifth crew member because the Endurance spacecraft, which could hold up to seven people, was modified to only have four seats.
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