Astronauts Find Air Leak on Russian Side of ISS

  • The location of the leak has not been established as of yet.
  • A minor ammonia leak was detected recently in the American segment of the International Space Station.
  • NASA just moved SpaceX Crew Dragon flight to ISS until October 31.

Roscosmos specialists have confirmed that there is an air leak on the International Space station (ISS), and its place is located in the Russian Zvezda module. The crew has yet to determine the location of the leak, but if necessary, additional oxygen can be delivered to orbit.

The Roscosmos State Corporation for Space Activities (ROSCOSMOS) is a state corporation responsible for the wide range and types of space flights and cosmonautics programs for the Russian Federation.

The Commander of the International Space Station crew, American astronaut Christopher Cassidy, was informed by the NASA Lyndon Johnson Space Center in Houston that an air leak was not detected in the American segment. Recall that the air leak on the ISS was recorded in September last year, and at the end of August this year, its speed doubled  from 270 to 540 grams per day.

After that, to search for the leak site, the crew closed the hatches in the ISS modules to check their tightness and was isolated in the Russian segment of the station for four days. However, even after that, the location of the leak was not found. In September, the rate of leakage increased to 1.4 kilograms of air per day, so the other day it was necessary to re-isolate the crew of the International space station in the Russian segment.

Sergey Krikalev, Executive Director of Roscosmos for manned programs, said on the Rossiya 24 TV channel:

“What is happening now is more than a regulatory leak. Naturally, if it persists for a long time, it will require the delivery of additional air to the station. From the point of view of the procedure for carrying out work, of course, this will affect the program, but it will not affect critically when we are forced to cancel some work or stop the expedition.”

Elon Musk is an engineer, industrial designer, technology entrepreneur and philanthropist. He is the founder, CEO and chief engineer/designer of SpaceX; co-founder, CEO and product architect of Tesla, Inc.; founder of The Boring Company; co-founder of Neuralink; and co-founder and initial co-chairman of OpenAI.

Moreover, a minor ammonia leak was detected recently in the American segment of the International Space Station, which does not affect the Russian segment and the safety of the crew. Liquid ammonia circulates outside the ISS and is used to remove heat from the modules of the American segment of the station to space. It is a moderately toxic chemical, but in high concentrations it can become a strong poison for humans

As Krikalev noted, Zvezda has a lot of cargo and panels that you will have to work with when searching for leaks, so this task may take more than one day. The specialist called one of the vacuum valves connecting separate life support systems to the outboard vacuum a potential source of the problem.

Additionally, NASA just moved SpaceX Crew Dragon flight to ISS until October 31. The SpaceX Dragon 2 is a class of reusable spacecraft developed and manufactured by American aerospace manufacturer SpaceX as the successor to Dragon, a reusable cargo spacecraft.

Overall, NASA hopes to abandon the services of Roscosmos to deliver astronauts to the International space station (ISS) from 2021. Instead of the Russian “Unions,” the United States intend to use their own Crew Dragon. It would be a cost containment for NASA using SpaceX.

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Christina Kitova

I spent most of my professional life in finance, insurance risk management litigation.

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