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29 Feb, 2024 11:18

Russia comments on space station leak

A NASA official had previously reported that air loss from the Zvezda module had doubled
Russia comments on space station leak

Air leaking from a segment of the International Space Station (ISS) poses no risk to its crew or the orbital outpost, the Russian space agency Roscosmos has said.

A NASA official had previously reported that the rate at which air was escaping from the satellite's Russian Zvezda module under certain circumstances had doubled. The situation is under control and being constantly monitored, the Roscosmos told Interfax on Wednesday, when asked about remarks by NASA’s ISS program manager, Joel Montalbano,.

”The aging of the station’s structure and the growing need for repair and maintenance work on board require a significant portion of the crew’s time,” Roscosmos said.

Montalbano mentioned the issue during this week’s briefing on the upcoming SpaceX Crew-8 mission, which is scheduled for launch on Friday.

”There is an area in the aft end of the International Space Station. [There is] a small leak. We’ve seen this leak increase about a week before the recent Progress launch and docking,” he said, referring to a Russian automatic supply freighter.

The volume of lost air has increased to about two pounds a day, compared to a pound a day previously, Montalbano said.

”The hatch is closed in that area. It’s not an impact on Crew-8, but I didn’t want anyone to be surprised, if they hear about that later,” he explained.

The use of the module for retrieving the Progress shipment didn’t pose any issues in terms of the leak, he said. The next opening of the hatch is expected in April. While it’s closed, the rest of the station is “solid.”

Technical issues at the ISS are being reported on a regular basis. Roscosmos has said the age of the station is a key reason why it is developing plans for a new purely Russian-manned orbital structure as an alternative to participating in the international project.

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