Small Meteorite Hits Space Station


The six-member crew aboard the space station is in no danger, according to NASA, and was awakened this morning as part of their routine schedule. It seems a small meteor caused a "minute" pressure leak, reports AFP.

Today, NASA astronauts are working on repairing the damage caused by a small meteorite which is thought to have struck the station this week, causing an oxygen leak and sparking alarms to sound aboard the ship. It will be patched from the inside.

He added: "A micro-fracture was found, most likely it is damage from the outside".

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 the Soyuz MS-09's orbital module, which is attached to Russia's Rassvet module.

The leak was discovered at around 7 p.m., (EDT) Wednesday, by flight controllers in Houston and Moscow.

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The leak rate was minuscule, and the crew put Kapton tape over the hole to slow the loss of pressure even further.

Officials and flight controllers are monitoring the situation as the station's crew works through the procedures, continued NASA. None at all - the ground controllers actually found the leak about 7pm space time and made a decision to let the crew sleep first. As they searched for a solution, Dr Gerst, from the European Space Agency, is said to have plugged... "This is a section of the Soyuz that does not return to Earth", NASA explained.

A leak on the space station could come from a seal or valve failing, said John Crassidis, an aerospace engineer at the University at Buffalo. On Twitter, it confirmed "all systems are stable" despite the "tiny leak".

Gerst, along with USA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor and Russian cosmonaut Sergei Prokopyev, are due to use the same Soyuz vehicle to return to Earth at the end of the year.