New cracks in the International Space Station reveal the deterioration of the Russian sector

A recent view of Earth from the International Space Station, showing Hurricane Ida.

A recent view of Earth from the International Space Station, showing Hurricane Ida.
picture: NASA.

Newly discovered cracks in a former Russian module of the International Space Station (ISS, or IS According to a senior Russian space official. This is the latest in a string of setbacks as Russia considers its future in the orbital position.

“Surface cracks were found in some places of the Zarya spacecraft,” Vladimir Solovyov, flight director of the Russian part of the International Space Station, told the RIA news agency. Reuters. “This is a bad thing, and it suggests that cracks will start to spread over time.”

It is not known whether the cracks, discovered by Russian cosmonauts, cause oxygen to leak into space. Zarya, or Functional Cargo Block (FGB), was the first section of the International Space Station to reach orbit, having been launched on November 20, 1998. The unit is 12.6 meters long and 4.1 meters wide.

Zarya unit shortly after its launch in 1998.

Zarya unit shortly after its launch in 1998.
picture: NASA.

Solovyov to caution In the past regarding the aging of the Russian part, by saying that some components urgently need replacing and that Roscosmos should expect an “avalanche” of broken equipment after 2025. Solovyov is a former Soviet cosmonaut who has spent approximately 362 days in space during his career, and is currently operating The position of chief engineer at the Russian missile company Energia.

Roscosmos is currently dealing with a steady stream of technical issues related to the International Space Station.

It was the Russian part like Swiss cheese and its many holes, creating a series of annoying, but not fatal, air leaks. Slight air leak dating back to September 2019 finally Repair In March 2021, but it appeared Another leak In the Zvezda service unit in July 2021. In August 2018, an air leak was traced to the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft docked at the International Space Station, and Russian officials attributed the cause to hypothetical manufacturing or sabotage (This story has gotten a little tricky recently, as Russian media accused the NASA astronaut of deliberately digging the hole.) a broken toilet A faulty oxygen supply system is among some other recent problems within the Russian part. Not to mention the newly arrived Nauka unit, made That IEE turned 1.5 times unexpectedly after she unexpectedly fired her payout.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov has stated that the International Space Station has passed its expiration date and its current status “leaves much to be desired,” according to the news agency. Ria in April. Russia’s future with the International Space Station is unclear, as the country has threatened to abandon international cooperation by 2025. Like ChinaRussia could build its own space station. In fact, as BBCDmitry Rogozin, director of Roscosmos, said that the first basic unit of a new Russian space station is already under development.

I’m not the sentimental type, but I think it’s a shame that the Russians are leaving. Space is one of the few places where Americans and Russians have cooperated significantly over the years, despite political differences. However, given the deplorable state of the Russian sector, this may be a foregone conclusion.

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Lovell Loxley

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