ISS Cosmonauts Repair Small Air Leak in Soyuz Capsule

International Space Station
Configuration as of Aug. 22, 2018: Three spaceships are docked at the space
station including the Progress 70 resupply ship and the Soyuz MS-08 and MS-09
crew ships.  Credit: NASA
Ken Kremer     SpaceUpClose.com     30 August 2018


CAPE CANAVERAL,
FL – A pair of Russian cosmonauts serving aboard the International Space
Station (ISS) repaired a small air leak discovered earlier today on one of two Russian Soyuz spacecraft attached to the orbiting
laboratory complex.
“The International Space Station’s cabin
pressure is holding steady after the Expedition 56 crew conducted repair work”
on the orbital section of the Soyuz MS-09 capsule.

The cosmonauts rubbed epoxy into the hole with
gauze and effectively plugged the Soyuz leak.  



The small leak was
found in “
a hole about two
millimeters in diameter in the orbital compartment, or upper section, of
the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft
attached to the Rassvet module of the Russian segment of the station,” NASA
said in a statement.



The leak was noticed by mission controllers at
about 7 p.m. EDT Wednesday, Aug. 29. 



The Soyuz MS-09
spacecraft is pictured moments after docking to the space station’s Rassvet
module on June 8, 2018 with new Expedition 56 crew members
Soyuz
Commander Sergey Prokopyev of Roscosmos, flight engineer Serena
Auñón-Chancellor of NASA, and flight engineer Alexander Gerst of ESA (European
Space Agency)
.  Credit: NASA

The orbital section is the forward compartment
of the Soyuz and does not return to land on Earth. 



The Expedition 56 Russian crewmates led by Soyuz
commander Sergey Prokopyev of Roscosmos completed the repair after Russian mission
controllers found a “tiny leak” and minor reduction of the stations air
pressure
that was “traced to the Russian segment of the orbital complex.



“Flight controllers at their respective
Mission Control centers in Houston and Moscow worked together with the crew to
effect a repair option in which Soyuz commander Sergey Prokopyev of Roscosmos
used epoxy on a gauze wipe to plug the hole identified as the leak source. 



“As the teams were discussing options, flight
controllers in Moscow performed a partial increase of the station’s atmosphere
using the ISS Progress 70 cargo ship’s oxygen supply.”

Russian space
officials, including veteran cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev (left) and Roscosmos
chief Dmitry Rogozin (center), discuss the pressure leak at Russia’s mission
control center in Korolev, Russia. Credit: Roscosmos

Meanwhile NASA flight controllers in Houston will
continue to “monitor the station’s cabin pressure in the wake of the repair.”



“Meanwhile, Roscosmos has convened a
commission to conduct further analysis of the possible cause of the leak.”



NASA says the crew was never in any danger and
that “no further action was contemplated for the remainder of the day.”



Teams will re-evaluate the situation in the
morning as the crew sleeps overnight.  



“All station systems are stable and the crew
is planning to return to its regular schedule of work on Friday.”



The Soyuz MS-09
spacecraft has been joined to the station since it arrived and docked at the Rassvet
module on June 8, 2018 with the new Expedition 56 crew members
Soyuz
Commander Sergey Prokopyev of Roscosmos, flight engineer Serena
Auñón-Chancellor of NASA, and flight engineer Alexander Gerst of ESA (European
Space Agency)
.

 Expedition 56 crew
The six person
Expedition 56 crew is comprised of station Commander Drew Feustel, Flight
Engineers Ricky Arnold and Serena Auñón-Chancellor of NASA, Alexander Gerst of
ESA (European Space Agency) and Oleg Artemyev and Sergey Prokopyev of the
Russian space agency Roscosmos.  



Early
today the crew had gathered  in the
Russian segment of the station to conduct extensive checks to find the leak and
discovered it was on the Russian side of the orbital outpost.



Watch for Ken’s continuing onsite coverage of NASA, SpaceX, ULA,
Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Orbital ATK and more space and mission reports direct
from the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida and
Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia.



Stay tuned here for Ken’s continuing Earth and Planetary science and human
spaceflight news: www.kenkremer.com
–www.spaceupclose.com – twitter @ken_kremer – email: ken at kenkremer.com

Ken Kremer

Watch for Ken’s continuing onsite coverage of NASA, SpaceX, ULA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and more space and mission reports direct from Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Stay tuned here for Ken's continuing Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news. Dr. Kremer is a research scientist and journalist based in the KSC area, active in outreach and interviewed regularly on TV and radio about space topics. Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events.

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