Astronauts report that ISS air leak continues

(ORDO NEWS) — The air leak from the Russian Zvezda module of the International Space Station (ISS) continues, follows from the negotiations of the astronauts with the Earth, broadcast by NASA.

On Wednesday, the crew reported that pressure, which had previously dropped due to air leaks, has stabilized.

On Sunday night, Russian cosmonaut Sergei Ryzhikov closed the hatch into the “leaking” intermediate chamber of the Zvezda module to check for leaks. After 18 hours, he opened the hatch again and informed the Mission Control Center near Moscow that the pressure in the compartment had dropped from 730 to 620 millimeters of mercury during this time.

A small air leak on the ISS was recorded in September 2019. In August-September 2020, after its speed increased fivefold, the crew twice closed the hatches in the ISS modules to check their tightness and was isolated for several days in the Russian segment of the station.

It turned out that the leak was located in the intermediate chamber of the Russian Zvezda module. In October, cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Wagner discovered a 4.5-centimeter crack with the help of tea leaves. It was temporarily sealed with Kapton tape (heat-resistant tape), and then with a patch – a flexible disk made of rubber and aluminum foil. However, this did not completely eliminate the air leak. Roscosmos told RIA Novosti that the crack does not threaten the ISS and the crew, and ground specialists are deciding how to patch it up for a long time.

According to Yuri Gidzenko, Deputy Flight Director of the Russian Segment of the ISS, a special repair kit will be delivered to the station on the Progress MS-16 cargo vehicle in February for the final sealing of the intermediate chamber. In December, the executive director for manned programs of Roscosmos, Sergei Krikalev, told RIA Novosti that the ISS crew was looking for another air leak in the intermediate chamber.

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