Air leaks from International Space Station, astronauts safe

by Fredrick Graves September 2, 2018, 17:28
Air leaks from International Space Station, astronauts safe

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station spent part of their day today (Aug. 30) fixing a tiny air leak in a Soyuz capsule docked to the station. The crew consisting of NASA astronauts Drew Feustel, Ricky Arnold and Serena Auñón-Chancellor, ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst and Roscosmos astronauts Oleg Artemyev and Sergey Prokopyev are working through troubleshooting and fix procedures.

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.

A leak was detected aboard the International Space Station Wednesday night, but NASA said it was "minute" and posed no threat to the astronauts now aboard the station.

"This leak seems to have resulted from a micrometeoroid impact".

He said the fracture was found on the Soyuz ship that brought astronauts to the ISS in June for a six-month mission and is now docked with the space station. But flight controllers and the crew are trying to develop a more long-term fix.

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

The hole was found in the Russian-made Soyuz capsule which is one of two now docked to the space station.

Depressurisation is extremely unsafe for crews on board the ISS and this is not the first time a leak has happened on the ISS.

The astronauts were instructed to try to find the leak, eventually tracing it to the Russian Soyuz vehicle that was used to carry three crewmembers to the ISS on 8 June.

Both natural micrometeoroids (bits of rock left over from the formation of our solar system) and space debris (small pieces of spacecraft that still orbit Earth) are travelling at incredible speeds through space. NASA signed an accord in 2017 to acquire extra Soyuz seats into 2019, even though no further contracts involving the Russian craft have been announced.

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