Air leaks “slightly more than normal” were detected on the International Space Station. An astronaut and two cosmonauts are now working to find the source of the problem.
The International Space Station (ISS), the largest human-made spacecraft, is a slightly larger structure than a standard football field. This massive 408-ton structure is not completely isolated, there is always some leakage.
Leaks in the station are constantly monitored. Thus, any unexpected heat, air, material, etc. leakage can be detected at the very first moment. According to data from the sensors, the ISS is currently leaking more air than usual.
Air leak increased
According to the statements of NASA, the air leak in the station has recently been “slightly above normal”. After that, an astronaut and two cosmonauts working at the station began their work to find the source of the problem.
According to a blog post published by NASA, American and Russian space agencies are currently working on a “plan to detect, identify, isolate and potentially repair the source”.
NASA astronauts Chris Cassidy and Roscosmos cosmonauts Ivan Vagner and Anatoly Ivanishin, who are currently at the station, will spend the weekend at the station’s Zvezda service module. It was announced that the team or station is not currently in danger.
Soyuz module is ready
Soyuz MS-16 spacecraft, which carried the crew to the station, is currently added to the ISS. Although the leak does not pose a threat to either the crew or the station at the moment, the module is kept ready for the crew to escape in case the problem gets out of control.
According to the news, additional sections in the station will be closed one by one and the amount of leakage will be checked. So ground control teams believe they can uncover the source of the spill. Then it is stated that the repair process of the station will begin. In 2018, a similar problem was experienced at the station and the problem was resolved by clogging with open epoxy that caused the leak.