NASA discovers leak on International Space Station


The International Space Station crew on Thursday was repairing a small "leak" most likely caused by a collision with a small meteorite, the head of the Russian space agency said, adding the incident presented no danger.

In a status update, NASA said the leak was isolated to a hole that's about 2 millimeters (0.07 inches) in diameter in the orbital compartment of Russia's Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft, which is attached to the Russian-built Rassvet module on the station.

After some debate, Russian controllers agreed with NASA's team to take more time to investigate the leak.

Astronauts have scrambled to patch a tiny hole that was allowing air to leak from the Russian side of the International Space Station.

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Once the hole was identified, crewmembers applied Kapton tape, which slowed the leak.

The hole is located in the upper section of the Soyuz, which does not return to Earth, according to NASA. "Once the patching is complete, additional leak checks will be performed".

"When the crew was awakened at its normal hour this morning, flight controllers at Mission Control in Houston and at the Russian Mission Control Center outside Moscow began working procedures to try to determine the location of the leak". The Russians wanted to do a permanent fix immediately and NASA wanted to formulate a temporary fix until a safe plan for a permanent fix can be worked out.

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. Feustel commands the crew. At one point, NASA astronaut Drew Feustel, who serves as the space station's commander, counseled caution.