NASA is still searching for source of ISS air leak

WASHINGTON – NASA says they are still not sure about the source of a small air leak at the International Space Station as the crew spent a second weekend there confined to a single module.

The Expedition 63 crew of NASA astronauts Chris Cassidy and Roskosmos Cosmonauts Anatoly Ivineshin and Ivan Wagner remained inside the Zvezda module in the Russian segment of the station from September evening to September 25. From the morning of 28 September to 28 am. All were closed in an attempt to identify the station, which has a small, but not significant, air leak.

At a September 28 briefing about the upcoming Northrop Grumman NG-14 Cygnus cargo mission at the station, a NASA official said that weekend isolation at the Zvezda module failed to immediately detect the source of the leak. “As of this morning, there was no clear indication of where the leak is,” said Greg Doreth, manager of the ISS Program External Integration Office at NASA. “The team is still looking at and evaluating the data.”

This was the second time the ISS crew confined themselves to Zvezda in an attempt to track the leak. A month ago, the trio also spent a weekend in Zweda, with other modules closed, in an attempt to detect leaks. “After three days, there was no indication of where the leak was coming from,” Dorath said.

This latest test, he said, depicted some “slightly different configurations” in both the US and Russian segments, although he did not elaborate on the differences between the two tests. In addition, Cassidy used an ultrasonic leak detector to see that the leak itself was coming from Zvezda.

The leak, he emphasized, is not a threat to the crew or the station itself. “This is a very, very small leak. This impacts our consumables, but we have plans for this. We can address the leak by continuing the investigation. ”

Cassidy made the same point A series of tweets He and his crew colleagues spent the weekend at Zevzda just before the leak. “As a crew we have no harm or risk, but finding the leak is important [so] We are not wasting valuable air, ”he wrote.

Space station controllers took advantage of the relatively quiet time at the station in an effort to detect the leak, which was first detected a year ago. Only three people are at the station, making it possible for them to be in the same module. Also, no spacecraft has arrived at the station since the departure of the HTV cargo vehicle August 18.

This will change soon, however. The NG-14 Cygnus cargo spacecraft is scheduled to launch from Wallops Island, Virginia on October 1 and arrive at the station on the morning of October 4. The mission is “the beginning of a very busy vehicle traffic month on the ISS,” Dorath said.

That traffic includes the launch of a new Soyuz spacecraft Oct. 14 with NASA astronauts Kate Rubins and Roskosmos cosmonauts Sergey Reznikov and Sergey Kud-Severchkov. After this, Soyuz will be present at the station on 21 October. On 21, Cassidy, Ivanish and Wagner return.

A SpaceX crew Dragon is now scheduled to launch on October 31 alongside NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker, and JXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi. This will bring the station’s crew seven for the future. The launch was scheduled for 23 October, but NASA said they were moving to launch it on 28 September, to give it more time with the Soyuz launch and landing operation “closing all open work” To do, to ensure both on the ground and aboard. ” Station “Crew-1 before launch.

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