A leak on board the International Space Station – ISS – has been fixed after the source was traced to the Russian segment of the orbital complex.
Flight controllers on Earth detected the leak during the evening on August 29, 2018 and determined that the small loss of cabin pressure was of no immediate danger to ISS’ crew, who were left to sleep.
The following morning saw the crew of six work with flight controllers in the US and Russia to find the source of the leak, which was isolated to a hole about 2mm in diameter in the orbital compartment (upper section) of the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft attached to the Russian segment of the station.
Flight controllers and crew then effected a repair in which Soyuz commander Sergey Prokopyev used epoxy on a gauze wipe to plug the hole. At the same time, flight controllers in Moscow partially increased the station’s atmosphere using the ISS Progress 70 cargo ship’s supply of oxygen.
Mission controllers in Houston are continuing to monitor station’s cabin pressure following the repair and Roscosmos is investigating the possible cause of the leak, which is thought to have occurred following a micrometeorite strike. Additional leak checks will be performed once the patching is finished.
According to NASA, all station systems are stable and the crew is planning to return to its regular work schedule today, August 31, 2018.