NASA works to contain pressure leak on International Space Station

Clark Diaz
August 31, 2018

A cause for the breach was not given but this is not the first time the ISS has suffered a leak.

The leak was detected Wednesday night - possibly from a micrometeorite strike - resulting in a small loss of cabin pressure.

The Russian crew was going to apply an epoxy to the hole and seal it; however, Moscow officials eventually agreed to hold off and use a temporary patch, giving the temporary patch one hour before applying the sealant.

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Six men are now orbiting Earth aboard the ISS, including NASA astronauts Drew Feustel, Ricky Arnold and Serena Aunon, as well as Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency and two Russian cosmonauts - Oleg Artemyev and Sergei Prokopyev.

A joint crew effort led the astronauts to discover a small breach in a Russian segment of the ISS.

It was traced to a hole about 2mm across, located in the most recent Russian Soyuz spacecraft capsule to dock at the space station.

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According to tweets from the space news website, a hole was found and initially taped over as a temporary fix. Orbital debris is a constant threat to spacecraft, even the tiniest specks. "This is a section of the Soyuz that does not return to Earth", NASA explained. On Twitter, it confirmed "all systems are stable" despite the "tiny leak". But when an alarm rings out on the International Space Station, things are obviously a bit more serious. "Yes - this is the chip in one of our Cupola windows, glad it is quadruple glazed!" The free-falling research laboratory is a labyrinth of individual rooms only accessible by squeezing through tight corridors.

After waiting an hour, Soyuz commander Sergey Prokopyev used epoxy on a gauze wipe to plug the hole identified as the leak source.

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