Astronauts deal with air leaks at the International Space Station

The Russian Soyuz spacecraft (L) brought a new crew to the International Space Station (ISS) in June

Astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) are having to deal with an air leak from a possible collision.

It has been traced to a small hole in a capsule that was used to deliver a new crew to the laboratory 400km (250 miles) above the Earth in June.

It is thought the damage was caused by the impact of a high-speed rocky fragment flying through space.

Mission controllers in Houston, Texas, and Russia’s capital, Moscow, say the six-strong crew are in no danger.

Impacts from tiny meteoroids are a permanent threat to the orbiting platform and it was built to withstand the constant bombardment from the dusty fragments that whizz about above the Earth.

Astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) are having to deal with an air leak from a possible collision.

It has been traced to a small hole in a capsule that was used to deliver a new crew to the laboratory 400km (250 miles) above the Earth in June.

It is thought the damage was caused by the impact of a high-speed rocky fragment flying through space.

Mission controllers in Houston, Texas, and Russia’s capital, Moscow, say the six-strong crew are in no danger.

Impacts from tiny meteoroids are a permanent threat to the orbiting platform and it was built to withstand the constant bombardment from the dusty fragments that whizz about above the Earth.Alexander Gerst

Germany’s Gerst confirmed the presence of the hole by running his finger over it.

An immediate fix was implemented using a sealant and tape to cover the hole, which is said to measure a couple of millimetres in diameter.

 

The astronauts are now working with engineers on the ground to assess whether a more robust repair is needed.

Gerst, along with US 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.

Fortunately, the puncture is in the craft’s orbital module – the segment that is dumped before the Soyuz’ crew capsule enters the atmosphere .

source: www.bbc.com

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