International Space Station leak is stable, Russian space agency says


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 small air leak has developed on the Russian side of the International Space Station.

For the six astronauts on the 250-mile-high ISS, now home to three Americans, two Russians and one German, things like orbital debris is always constant threat, even the tiny 2mm pieces.

The leak was soon localized and poses no danger to the crew.

Astronaut Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency knows that when you're living on the International Space Station, ingenuity matters.

Flight controllers in Houston are continuing to monitor the station's cabin pressure in the wake of the fix, with pressure holding steady, the release explained. It sounds alarming, but flight controllers say the astronauts aren't in any immediate danger. They began locking down modules of the station one after another, and were eventually able to detect the source of the problem in the Soyuz spacecraft docked to the ISS.

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At about 9:00AM AEST yesterday, flight controllers at Mission Control in Houston and at the Russian Mission Control Center outside Moscow detected a small leak in the complex.

Astronauts applied Kapton tape to the leak site, effectively slowing the air leak. On Twitter, it confirmed "all systems are stable" despite the "tiny leak".

The crew carried out the inspection the next morning and discovered the 2mm hole in the station's orbital compartment of the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft, attached to the Russian segment.

The hole is located in the upper section of the Soyuz, which does not return to Earth, according to NASA.

The next morning, the team probably woke up to some surprising (and slightly worrying) news, and all crew members went searching for the hole. Flight controllers have partially replenished the atmosphere in the station by using the oxygen supply from a Russian cargo capsule.