International Space Station hit by leak – extra air delivery may be needed

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Additional air may be delivered to the International Space Station (ISS) after a leak was detected.

The crew, made up of US astronaut Chris Cassidy and Russian cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner, plan to eliminate it in the coming days, according to Russia’s RIA news agency.

It has been detected in one section of the Zvezda service module, with air escaping at above-normal volumes.

However, the leak poses no risk to anyone on board, as the station can be depressurised using nitrogen tanks.

The astronauts have asked to collect data using an ultrasonic leak detector.

Kenny Todd, NASA’s deputy manager of the ISS, earlier said: "As far as the station goes, we're in very good shape.

"The only issue that I would bring up at this point is this little atmosphere leak that's proven to be a bit challenging over the last couple of months.

"But for those of you that follow the station on orbit operations regularly, you'll know that we've been dealing with a small atmospheric leak over the last… well… really over a year."

He added: "We decided to go ahead and wake the crew up. We went through a several hour activity and we think we got, again, some more data.

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"We got a finer point on where we think the leak is module wise. We, at this point, think it's in the Russian segment, in the service module area. Again, we're continuing to look at all the data from the test.

"But what we do know and have confirmed with our Russian colleagues that we think there's something going on there."

A private cargo spacecraft is due to set off on a mission to the ISS today, carrying tonnes of fresh supplies.

The mission, called Cygnus NG-14, will take off from Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, the US.

  • Nasa
  • Space

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