NASA Still Puzzled by Source of Space Station Air Leak
The air is leaking from the International Space Station (ISS) and no one knows.
Two attempts to pinpoint the source of the leak over the past five weeks have failed to address the issue, although NASA says it poses no threat to the safety of the current three-man crew or to the integrity of the ISS .
On both occasions, NASA and its Russian counterpart asked the crew – the American Chris Cassidy, and the Russians Ivan Wagner and Anatoly Ivinshine – to spend several days inside Russia’s Zvezda service module so that the experts on the ground would do the rest of the pressure test throughout. Can do. The outpost circled in the hope of finding the location of the leak.
The latest attempt occurred last weekend, but at a briefing on Monday, September 28, to the ISS about the upcoming Northrop Grumman NG-14 Cygnus cargo mission, NASA official Greg Dorth confirmed that it was still to determine the cause of the problem Was trying
“As of this morning, there was no clear indication of where the leak is,” Doreth said in comments reported by SpaceNews.
Dorath described the leak as “very, very small” and said investigators are still paying attention to the most recent test data in search of clues.
Before the period of his second separation at the Russian module, Cassidy revealed last week that in additional attempts to find the leak, he and Evenishin were examining the station window seal using an ultrasonic leak detector – but to no avail. Happened.
NASA astronauts also reiterated that the issue posed no risk to the crew, but also said it was “important to detect leaks” [so] We are not wasting valuable air. “
No luck finding the source so far, but it looks like we’ll try again this weekend with module isolation. As a crew we have no harm or risk, but it is important that we spot the leaks that we are not wasting valuable air on.
– Chris Cassidy (@Astro_SEAL) September 24, 2020
Investigators are eager to fix the issue during a relatively quiet period at the space station, with only three crew members currently on board. It is about to get busy, however, given the number of spacecraft arrivals in the coming weeks that the number of crew members will increase to seven in early November. Cassidy, Evinish, and Wagner are set to depart the station on 21 October.