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Mysterious Source of Air Leak Has Kept International Space Station Crew on Their Toes

International Space Station.

International Space Station.

The leak was initially traced to the main work area inside a Russian ISS module called Zvezda. NASA, however, says they are still not sure of the source of the leak on the International Space Station after the crew spent two weekends confined to Zvezda.

Things got a little tensed in space after an air leak was discovered at the International Space Station. The crew members have been busy looking for the source of the leak for several weeks now, but the search was stepped up when the size of the leak appeared to grow on Monday.

According to ground teams who analysed the situation, the leak is traced to the main work area inside a Russian ISS module called Zvezda. This module contains life support equipment for the space station and also houses living quarters for two crew members.

However, according to Space News, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) says they are still not sure of the source of the leak on the International Space Station after the crew spent two weekends confined to Zvezda.

The Expedition 63 crew of NASA astronaut and station commander Chris Cassidy and Roscosmos cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner remained inside the Zvezda module in the Russian segment of the station from the evening of September 25 until the morning of September 28. Hatches between other modules of the station were all closed to identify which one had the leak.

However, NASA stressed that the leak poses no immediate danger to the crew at the current leak rate and will only cause a slight deviation to the crew's ongoing work schedule. Cassidy, Ivanishin and Vagner were instructed to move into the module suspected of being the source of the leak to collect data at various locations in the Russian modules, which was the third time in over a month that the crew had to isolate themselves on the Russian side, in an attempt to find the growing leak.

Using an ultrasonic leak detector to collect data, the team analysed pressure measurements throughout the night to try to isolate the source of the leak. After the overnight checks were complete, the crew opened hatches once again between the US and Russian segments of the station, resuming their normal activities.


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