International Space Station Crew Repairs Pressure Leak In Russian Segment of Orbital Complex

By  //  August 30, 2018

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leak isolated to hole about two millimeters in diameter

The crew aboard the International Space Station conducted troubleshooting and repair work Thursday after the discovery of a tiny leak last night traced to the Russian segment of the orbital complex.

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA (NASA) – The crew aboard the International Space Station conducted troubleshooting and repair work Thursday after the discovery of a tiny leak last night traced to the Russian segment of the orbital complex.

The International Space Station’s cabin pressure is holding steady after the Expedition 56 crew conducted repair work on one of two Russian Soyuz spacecraft attached to the complex. The repair was made to address a leak that had caused a minor reduction of station pressure.

Expedition 56 is the 56th expedition to the International Space Station, which began on June 1, 2018, upon the departure of Soyuz MS-07. Andrew Feustel, Oleg Artemyev, and Richard R. Arnold from Expedition 55 transfer over. Alexander Gerst, Serena M. Auñón-Chancellor, and Sergey Prokopyev launched aboard Soyuz MS-09, on June 6, 2018.

After a morning of investigations, the crew reported that the leak was isolated to a hole about two millimeters in diameter in the orbital compartment, or upper section, of the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft attached to the Rassvet module of the Russian segment of the station.

Flight controllers at their respective Mission Control centers in Houston and Moscow worked together with the crew to effect a repair option in which Soyuz commander Sergey Prokopyev of Roscosmos used epoxy on a gauze wipe to plug the hole identified as the leak source.

As the teams were discussing options, flight controllers in Moscow performed a partial increase of the station’s atmosphere using the ISS Progress 70 cargo ship’s oxygen supply. Flight controllers in Houston are continuing to monitor station’s cabin pressure in the wake of the repair.

Meanwhile, Roscosmos has convened a commission to conduct further analysis of the possible cause of the leak.

Throughout the day, the crew was never in any danger, and was told no further action was contemplated for the remainder of the day. Flight controllers will monitor the pressure trends overnight.

All station systems are stable and the crew is planning to return to its regular schedule of work on Friday.

Expedition 56 is the 56th expedition to the International Space Station, which began on June 1, 2018, upon the departure of Soyuz MS-07. Andrew Feustel, Oleg Artemyev, and Richard R. Arnold from Expedition 55 transfer over. Alexander Gerst, Serena M. Auñón-Chancellor, and Sergey Prokopyev launched aboard Soyuz MS-09, on June 6, 2018. (NASA image)

The leak, which was detected Wednesday night by flight controllers as the Expedition 56 crew slept, resulted in a small loss of cabin pressure.

Flight controllers determined there was no immediate danger to the crew overnight. Upon waking at their normal hour, the crew’s first task was to work with flight controllers at Mission Control in Houston and at the Russian Mission Control Center outside Moscow to locate the source of the leak.

The leak has been isolated to a hole about two millimeters in diameter in the orbital compartment, or upper section, of the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft attached to the Rassvet module of the Russian segment.

This is a section of the Soyuz that does not return to Earth.

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