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Astronauts work to fix International Space Station leak

Astronauts work to fix International Space Station leak

A leak has been found on the Russian side of the International Space Station, according to NASA.

Relations have been strained between Russia and the United States over conflicts in Ukraine and Syria, as well as allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election.

According to NASA blogs, the International Space Station's cabin pressure is now steady after the Expedition 56 crew repaired one of two Russian Soyuz spacecraft attached to the complex.

NASA reports that, as of slack August 31, cabin stress on the ISS is holding true.

"As part of its normal operations planning, NASA is continuing to assess multiple scenarios to ensure continued United States access to the International Space Station", NASA spokeswoman Stephanie Schierholz said in an email.

"This leak seems to have resulted from a micrometeoroid impact".

The hole in question was only two millimetres in diameter, but could have caused serious consequences for the crew if left unfixed.




The issue started at 7PM EDT last night when flight controllers for the ISS noted signs of a "minute pressure leak".

Using the standard procedure for a leak, the crew put duct tape on the hole to keep more air from escaping into space.

Flight controllers at NASA Mission Control Center in Houston worked with their Russian counterparts to enable the repairs.

They found it in the Russian Soyuz vehicle used to bring three crewmen to the station on 8 June, among them Europe's Alexander Gerst, who is set to take command of the outpost.

Now flight controllers are monitoring the cabin pressure while coming up with a better and long-term solution for the leak.

A Nasa spokesman said it was too early to speculate on whether the three might have to return to Earth early if the leak can not be stopped.

The orbiting space station is cruising 250 miles above the Earth and is on constant alert for the dangers of meteorites and other space debris.

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