NASA Detects Small Leak On The ISS – And The Russian Crew Is Fixing It With Rags And Junk
The following is an excerpt from JEFFREY KLUGER and MAHITA GAJANAN | August 30, 2018 | Time.com |
The crew of the International Space Station is scrambling to fix a small hole that is causing air to slowly leak into space, NASA said Thursday.
Flight controllers for the station saw signs of the pressure leak on Wednesday evening. They allowed the crew of the ISS, Expedition 56, to sleep since they were not in immediate danger, according to NASA. After the crew woke up, the flight controllers started the process to find the leak’s location.
The station is regularly hit by micrometeorite debris; spacewalking astronauts report that after nearly 20 years aloft, the exterior hull looks as if it was hit by birdshot.
The danger is greater in the region the station orbits—about 250 miles above Earth. That area is in the thick of the low-Earth orbit debris belt, where most spacecraft fly and thus most space junk is routinely shed. A direct hit by a large chunk of debris is not common, but it could be catastrophic, which is why astronauts and cosmonauts rehearse for the possibility.
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