The damaged Progress MS-21 spacecraft undocked from the ISS
The Progress MS-21 spacecraft undocked from the International Space Station (ISS). This became known on Saturday, February 18, from a broadcast conducted by Roscosmos.
It is noted that Russian cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitry Petelin will deploy the spacecraft with the help of a teleoperator control system and take pictures from the ISS of damage to the thermal control system radiator on the body of one of the Progress compartments.
“At 07:03 Moscow time, it is planned to turn on the Progress MS-21 engine for deceleration to deorbit, due to which the ship will enter the atmosphere and collapse,” Roscosmos added.
Experts expect the unburned parts of the ship to fall in the non-navigable area of the South Pacific around 07:45 Moscow time.
The day before, Roscosmos warned that after undocking from the Poisk module of the ISS, the cosmonauts would deploy the damaged Progress MS-21 and take pictures of its damage.
On February 11, it became known about the leakage of coolant from the Progress MS-21 cargo ship. Earlier that day, it became known that the contour of the Progress MS-21 transport cargo ship, which docked to the ISS, was depressurized.
On the same day, Roskosmos announced the start of the work of the commission, which will analyze the causes of the leak on the Progress MS-21 cargo ship. According to Sergey Krikalev, Director of the State Corporation for Manned Space Programs, this incident is similar to the one that happened with the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft in December 2022.
Later, on February 14, Anton Alekseev, General Director of JSC AK Novy Kosmos (the company is a participant in the NTI Aeronet market), suggested that problems in the operation of thermal control systems on the Soyuz MS-22 and Progress MS-21 spacecraft, probably related to the violation of the outer skin. At the same time, the expert called the version of design problems or malfunctions in production unlikely.
Prior to that, on December 15, 2022, it became known about the damage to the radiator of the Soyuz MS-22 cooling system. Then the work of the cosmonauts on the spacewalk was suspended . According to the head of Roskosmos Yuri Borisov, the Soyuz MS-22 was depressurized due to external influences, as can be seen from the received images of the ship.