Leak on International Space Station plugged with Kapton tape

Sep 02, 2018, 17:26
Leak on International Space Station plugged with Kapton tape

The crew of the International Space Station (ISS) is working to fix a small leak on a Soyuz capsule that was most likely caused by a collision with a small meteorite, NASA and Russian officials say.

NASA said on Thursday that the leak caused a minor reduction in cabin pressure on the ISS.

Now flight controllers are monitoring the cabin pressure while coming up with a better and long-term solution for the leak.

Six people are now orbiting Earth aboard the ISS - Nasa astronauts Drew Feustel, Ricky Arnold and Serena Auñón-Chancellor, as well as Gerst, who is German, and two Russian cosmonauts - Oleg Artemyev and Sergei Prokopyev.

The European Space Agency reported crew members are in no danger, as there are weeks of air left in the ISS reserves.

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In a statement, NASA explained that flight controllers in both Houston and Moscow noticed signs of the issue yesterday evening.

"As the teams were discussing options, flight controllers in Moscow performed a partial increase of the station's atmosphere using the ISS Progress 70 cargo ship's oxygen supply".

Russia's manned space programme director Sergei Krikalev said the leak was patched up with a sealant that is "already proving to be airtight".

Rogozin said the leak could be repaired from within, with no need for a spacewalk.

Apart from those two, collisions with other spacecraft during docking, fires aboard the station, and toxic spills are some of the more risky things looming over ISS astronauts. The capsule will also have to bring them back home in December.

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A minute breach about 2mm in size, smaller than the fingernail on a little finger, was detected in in the upper section of a Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft.

In fact, NASA have released a statement saying it is far to early in the day to speculate on whether they might have to return to Earth early if the leak can not be stopped.

Three Americans, two Russians and a German are now on board the station.

The orbiting space station is cruising 250 miles above the Earth and is on constant alert for the dangers of meteorites and other space debris.

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