While the International Space Station is currently accommodating six people on board, a Russian cosmonaut reports having found cracks in the fuselage of the Zarya module.
408 kilometers above our heads, the(ISS) has a serious problem. The chief engineer of the Russian company Energia, Vladimir Solovyov, told Reuters news agency that cracks were found on board the Zarya module. The latter is the first structure to have been sent into space as part of the , in 1998.
What risk for the Space Station?
While various works ofare realized in order to inflate his , the station’s equipment is aging. Cracks exposed by ISS residents could expand and cause safety concerns for residents on board. Solovyov did not indicate whether air leaks were found. ” This finding is very bad and foreshadows a possible expansion of the cracks over time. “, he added.
During the previous month, the station had already encountered two perilous situations duringto the structure, which had caused the ISS to rotate due to failure. The Russian space agency Roscosmos had detected a drop in in the , caused by a probable air leak.
No announcement has been made regarding theof this problem, which could become of concern. The Space Station is officially expected to be in operation until 2024, but various institutions such as the , NASA or Roscosmos have declared their intention to extend their presence on the ISS.
Where did the air leak detected aboard the Space Station come from?
In September 2019, an air leak was measured inside the Space Station without the various crews who have since succeeded having succeeded in identifying its origin. The wastage rate is nevertheless far too low to endanger them! Last weekend, the astronauts were confined a second time to a module to try to locate her. Almost found!
Article by, published on September 30, 2020
For more than a year, an air leak on board theworries the ground controllers who, despite the help of the astronauts on board, have still not been able to locate its source! This air leak, which has been under investigation for several weeks, presents no immediate danger to the crew. The rate of air loss is not high enough to worry NASA and does not present any danger to the health of the astronauts aboard the .
In September 2020, theair leakage increased 2.5 times up to 1.4 in 24 hours! An unprecedented situation since September 2019 forcing the ground officials of NASA and Roscosmos once again confined the crew in the Russian Zvezda module to search for the place from which the leak would come, just as in August 2020. To this Finally, the airlocks between all the modules of the orbital complex were closed so that the mission controllers could again monitor the in each module.
Has the location of the leak been located in the Zvezda module?
On Monday evening, NASA woke the crew to precisely locate the air leak. From the ground, data analysis of the modules tested overnight isolated the location of the leak in the main work area of the Zvezda service module. As NASA explains, the crew closed the hatches one by one between the aft and forward sections of Zvezda and the Zvezda passages to the Pirs and Poisk modules, while using an ultrasonic leak detector.
Throughout the night, pressure measurements were taken to try to isolate the source of this loss. Unfortunately, the size of the leak identified overnight has since been attributed to a temporary change in temperature on board the station, with the overall rate of the leak remaining unchanged.
Studies are therefore underway to try to precisely locate the source of the leak. This difficulty in finding such a minimal air leak could be explained by the aging of the station and a faultywhich would have formed over the years. Zarya, the first module of the ISS was launched in November 1998 by a Proton !