ISS crew found an air leak on the spacecraft

The ISS has been leaking air for more than a year. The crew of the International Space Station can find the leak by releasing tea leaves.

Since the year 2019, the International Space Station is leaking much air. The crew was not able to find the rupture in the spacecraft.

The ISS crew members then threw some tea leaves on the Russian side of the spacecraft. Then they saw the leaves gathering around at one spot.

They were able to find the damage on the spacecraft and temporally close the leak.

The ISS always leak some air, but when the air leaking increased, the crew got concerned. Since September 2019, they were searching for the leak but were not able to find it.

The air leak in ISS

This air leak is there for years on the Space Station. In the year 2019, the rate of leak increased drastically.

This became a significant problem for the crew at the station. Now their main motive became finding the leak and shut it down.

There are resupplies on the International Space Station. There are resupply missions in which they take highly pressurized containers full of Oxygen and nitrogen. The mixture of Oxygen and nitrogen mimics the earth’s breathable air.

The breathable earth air does not only consists of Oxygen but also nitrogen. After 2019, in August 2020, the rate of leak again increased from 0.6 to 3.1 pounds of air per day. This was a massive loss of air in the Cosmos.

The Hunt

The crew of the ISS has been searching for the leak for the past two months. They would isolate a compartment, look over the pressure, and monitor the pressure changes to find the leak.

Although this method failed miserably, the crew was looking for another technique when they came up with the idea of scattering cleaves. The Russian cosmonauts came up with this idea.

The crew was monitoring the pressure changes, and they did not find any pressure changes. After this, they believed that probably the leakage area was in the Russian part.

But they were still not able to locate the leak. So the Russian cosmonauts came up with the tea leaf idea.

They were able to see the leak with tape. Although they are not sure how long the tape would hold the leakage. But they are confident that the air leakage does not pose a threat to the Space Station.

The ISS, the crew are hoping how to replace the tape with the problematic patch. According to the through, the hole seems to stem from a manufacturing defect in the Soyuz spacecraft.

The crew is hoping that the manufacturers on earth will get a warning from this issue.

Image courtesy of Dima Zel/Shutterstock

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