Cosmonauts are making progress in the fight against small air leak who have besieged International Room Station for several months, according to Russian reports.
The leak was first discovered in September 2019, but was too low a priority for NASA and Roscosmos to address until August this year given the short staffing and high activity levels at that orbital laboratory, according to an earlier statement from the US space agency. In August, NASA announced a few measures that Roscosmos, the US agency’s Russian counterpart, committed to detect leakage location. These steps included two weekend crews on the crew on the Russian segment to insulate the station components. At no point has the leak threatened the space station or the astronauts living on it, according to statements from both agencies.
Now cosmonauts on the space station report that they tracked down the leak yesterday (October 1
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The leak is located in a room in the Russian Zvezda module, as previous work at the circuit laboratory had suggested. Russian cosmonaut Ivan Vagner, who has lived in the facility since April, called it a “scratch” according to the Tass report, which also suggested the crew used a tea bag to track the exact location of the leak, but did not provide further details about the process. .
The cosmonauts also tried to patch up the leak, but theirs reports to mission control today (October 16) suggests that it may not hold, Tass reported: air loss is slowed, but the module still loses air pressure according to their measurements. The crew suggested reaching out to their American counterparts – currently Chris Cassidy and Kate Rubins – for a different type of patch mechanism.
“Maybe we should try hard spots that our partners have? We can talk to them. This is because the current patch is not as effective,” the cosmonauts said. according to the Tass report.
Meanwhile, Roscosmos is now dealing with a failed oxygen supply system on the same module, according to AFP. The system failed on Wednesday (October 14) after three new crew members moved in in the morning and did not pose a threat to the crew, a Roscosmos representative told AFP.
Both numbers represent the orbiting laboratory showing its age: the station has been constantly manned for almost 20 years, and the oldest parts of the complex were launched in 1998.
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