Astronauts patch space station air leak

Space Station is seen in this view from the space shuttle Discovery after the undocking of the two spacecraft in this

Is Russia declining access to the International Space Station (ISS) to the United States astronauts from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)?

In 2007, another leak occurred in the station's Harmony module in the U.S. section but officials said at the time the leak was no cause for concern.

The leak was detected on August 29 night, possibly from a micrometeorite strike when it caused a small drop in cabin pressure.

"The leak has been isolated to a hole about two millimetres in diameter" and slowed through application of thermoresistant tape, but a more permanent solution was in development.

Working with mission control in Houston, USA, and Moscow, Russia, the astronauts localised a leak that appears to be in the Russian segment.

Nasa confirmed the tear had led to a "minute pressure leak" and that the crew were containing the issue. As the pressure loss was very small and the six astronauts from Russia, USA and Germany are in no danger they were allowed sleep as normal.

In a statement, the agency said: "Throughout the day, the crew was never in any danger, and was told no further action was contemplated for the remainder of the day".

"Gorgeous now Alex has obtained his finger on that hole and I contain no longer deem that is the first-rate clear up for it", NASA's mission control reported over a dwell feed with the ISS. Earlier this week, a small hole on the Russian side of the International Space Station (ISS) sprung a leak. Upon receiving advice from Moscow and Houston, the crew sealed the microfracture with a cloth, averting the crisis for the time being.

Early this morning, the flight controllers informed the crew about the leak. Flight controllers have partially replenished the atmosphere in the station by using the oxygen supply from a Russian cargo capsule.

So for now it looks like the Expedition 56 crew are probably safe, although flight controllers are continuing to monitor the pressure, just in case something does go wrong.

The Soyuz is one of two docked at the orbiting lab, having arrived at the ISS in June carrying three astronauts.

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