(ORDO NEWS) — NASA’s Mission Control Center discovered an air leak on the ISS back in early autumn last year.
For a long time, absolutely no action was taken, because the leak posed no threat. Some time ago, experts discovered that the leakage rate has increased markedly, so something must be done immediately to neutralize it. On August 20, Criss Cassidy, Ivan Wagner and Anatoly Ivanishin were sent to the Zvezda module, and the Control Center started looking for the leak.
Space agency spokesman Daniel Huot said that the search may take much longer than originally anticipated. At the moment, the technical teams are studying the data that were collected by the ISS crew. Most of the station’s modules have already been excluded from the list, and the source of the leak has not been found. That is why a different course of action is needed.
At the same time, NASA says that at the moment nothing serious is happening and there is no reason for panic. The leakage level remains stable and poses no threat either to the crew or to the ISS.
Typically, the small amount of air that the space station loses is easily recovered by launching high pressure tanks. They contain nitrogen and oxygen. But if the leak becomes more serious, then these reservoirs will not be able to solve the problem as quickly as possible. What can happen in the future if the leak is not found and neutralized?
In the event of an emergency, the crew members will be forced to return to Earth on the Soyuz MS-16 spacecraft, which is located on the space station. If only the module in which the leak occurs is installed, then it can be completely disabled and isolated, which completely eliminates any threat to the station.
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