Astronauts used tape to seal a hole that was punched in the International Space Station while they were sleeping.
The crew woke this morning to news from ground controllers in Houston Texas, and Moscow that cabin pressure had dropped overnight and their first mission of the day was to fix a hole in the ISS.
NASA said a series of “extensive checks” eventually located the hole in a Russian segment – the upper section of the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft.
It only measured about 2mm across, and no one is certain how it happened.
Possibly, the perpetrator was a micrometeroid or space debris, but there’s also a chance it was simply a weak spot in the Soyuz skin.
How much danger were the crew in? None at all – the ground controllers actually found the leak about 7pm space time and decided to let the crew sleep first.
But when they found it, they fixed it exactly the same way you or I might – with tape.
Specifically, according to NASA, “epoxy on a gauze wipe”.
Roscosmos has “convened a commission to conduct further analysis of the possible cause of the leak” but there’s no danger to any Russian astronauts returning to Earth in the Soyuz spacecraft.
Its next mission will be getting filled with ISS junk and blasted back toward the Earth to burn up.
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