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Thursday
Aug302018

NASA: Small leak discovered on Russian side of International Space Station

NASA(MOSCOW) -- A small pressure leak was discovered on the International Space Station, according to NASA.

Flight controllers at mission control centers in Houston and Moscow began seeing signs of the leak Wednesday night when the six-member crew aboard the orbital outpost were asleep. Flight controllers monitored the situation until the crew awakened at their normal time Thursday morning "since they were in no danger," NASA said in a media release.

Crew members then conducted "extensive checks" to determine the location of the leak, which appears to be on the Russian side of the space station. They initially slowed the leak with Kapton tape and are working on a more comprehensive repair, according to NASA.

"Program officials and flight controllers are continuing to monitor the situation as the crew works through its troubleshooting procedures," NASA said.

Dmitry Olegovich Rogozin -- the head of Russia's state space corporation, Roscosmos -- said the issue was an air leak due to a tiny fracture on the Russian-manned Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft, which docked at the International Space Station in early June.

"A micro-fracture was found. Most likely this is external damage. Designers believe this is the result of a micro-meteorite," Rogozin told reporters Thursday, according to state-run Russian news agency TASS. "The lives and the health of the crew members are not threatened, and the spacecraft will most likely be preserved as a result of using a repair toolkit for localizing this leak."

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