Another Russian spacecraft leaked all of its coolant into the void
Only weeks after a Russian Soyuz rocket attached to the International Space Station (ISS) started leaking, another Russian spacecraft started facing the same problem.
Russia space agency Roscosmos announced on Saturday that mission controllers in Moscow noticed a "depressurization" in the robotic Progress 82 cargo craft.
NASA has since provided further details, stating that the depressurization occurred in the Progress vehicle's coolant system.
A new leak on Russia's Progress 82 cargo spacecraft
Neither Roscosmos nor NASA knows the reason for the depressurization, though they have announced an investigation is ongoing and confirmed that Progress 82 lost all of its coolant.
"The reason for the loss of coolant in the Progress 82 spacecraft is being investigated. The hatches between the Progress 82 and the station are open, and temperatures and pressures aboard the station are all normal," NASA explained in a blog post. "The crew, which was informed of the cooling loop leak, is in no danger and continuing with normal space station operations."
The Progress 82 cargo craft docked with the ISS on October 28, 2022, and it was scheduled to fly back to Earth on February 17. Roscosmos has not announced whether that date has been postponed, though it's likely that Progress 82 will remain attached to the ISS for a little while longer while the agency wraps up its investigation.
Progress spacecraft are designed to burn up in Earth's atmosphere once they've finished their mission so the main goal of that investigation is likely to ascertain the reason for the leak to try to prevent it from happening again.
Russia is also dealing with a Soyuz leak problem
Coincidentally, the depressurization was detected on the same day that another Progress spacecraft, Progress 83, docked with the ISS without issue.
The Progress 82 leak, however, comes only a short time after a Russian Soyuz rocket suffered a similar incident. In December, Roscosmos announced it was aborting a planned spacewalk due to an "uncontrollable" leak on its MS-22 Soyuz spacecraft attached to the ISS.
The ISS Progress 83 cargo craft docked to the station early Saturday with no issues. Meanwhile, engineers investigate a coolant leak on the ISS Progress 82 cargo craft due to undock on Feb. 17. The crew is safe and conducting normal operations. More... https://t.co/xKyjS9W3Ao pic.twitter.com/qeanEAMM5t— International Space Station (@Space_Station) February 11, 2023
That spacecraft was supposed to carry three astronauts home in March, though Roscosmos and NASA have had to put a contingency plan in place following the leak. Roscosmos will fly an uncrewed Soyuz to the space station later this month, while NASA rearranged seating on a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule in case of an emergency.
NASA and Roscosmos have released little information since the Progress 82 leak was detected, so it's unclear whether that leak could have any effect on the Soyuz crew, including cosmonauts Dmitri Petelin and Sergey Prokopyev and NASA's Frank Rubio.