Today it became known
that at the beginning of April of this year, the Soyuz MS-02 capsule, when descending to the surface of the Earth, was partially depressurized. The pressure drop inside the capsule, in which there were three crew members, occurred after the parachute opened at a height of about eight kilometers. The cause of depressurization is a collision of a parachute buckle with a welded seam. The incident was announced by the Chairman of NASA's Advisory Committee on the ISS, Thomas Stafford.
“The buckle struck the weld, and then there was a depressurization with a part of the air coming out of the capsule,” said Stafford. He did not say which capsule of which mission is being discussed. But you can calculate it - just know the date. A NASA spokesperson said an emergency event happened in April of this year. The only Soyuz that was then returning to Earth was the Soyuz MS-02 capsule, which landed on April 10.
Inside the capsule were NASA astronaut Robert Shane Kimbrough and Roskosmos cosmonauts Sergei Ryzhikov and Andrei Borisenko. According to Stafford, the incident raises a number of questions about the security of the "Union". Since the crew was in spacesuits, there were no consequences for life and health. Nevertheless, the situation itself can be called very dangerous - after all, its consequences could be much more negative.
True, this case can be called unique - nothing like this has ever been recorded. It may well be that the impact angle between the capsule and the Earth’s atmosphere affected the impact of the buckle and the weld. Nevertheless, Stafford believes that it is necessary to take a number of measures to prevent such incidents in the future.
Soyuz MS-02 is a modernized version of Soyuz TMA-M. According to the plan of Roscosmos, the manned spacecraft Soyuz TMA-M will be the last modification of the Soyuz series ships. After that, the Federation
ship being developed by Roscosmos will be used.
The statement of the American was confirmed by
representatives of RSC Energia. In particular, it was stated that in the Earth’s atmosphere the descent capsule of the Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft was mechanically damaged.
A commission was formed that investigated the incident, thereby finding out the causes of the problem: “The commission to identify the causes of this situation found that the cause of pressure reduction in the descent vehicle was mechanical damage to the parachute container of the main parachuting system. The damage to the parachute container occurred as a result of forcing the container with a steel buckle of the retracting parachute strap, which in this situation was affected by the outgoing main parachute. ”
Additional analysis of the telemetry of the descent showed that the pressure in the descent vehicle began to decrease already after the main parachute had triggered, but before the valve tripped, which provides the descent vehicle with the atmosphere at the parachuting site.
However, the decrease in pressure did not have any effect on the well-being and health of the crew. The fact is that shortly after the opening of the parachute, a valve began to work, which ensures that the device communicates with the atmosphere.
“Communication of the descent vehicle with the atmosphere during parachuting is a routine procedure, which is necessary to equalize the pressure in the descent vehicle with atmospheric pressure at the parachute height,” the RSC noted.