ISS Crew Temporarily Confined to Russian Module as Engineers Hunt for Pesky Air Leak

The International Space Station.

The International Space Station.
Image: NASA

The International Space Station has been leaking more air than usual, prompting an investigation that will confine the three-person crew to a single module for the next several days.

NASA and its international partners first noticed the air leak in September 2019. The ISS naturally loses some air over time, but the current rate of leakage is slightly above normal, and it has been that way for the better part of a year. Nothing alarming, but clearly something mission controllers would like to remedy.

Mission controllers weren’t able to properly characterize the leak owing to routine station operations, such as spacewalks and the receiving and dispatching of spacecraft, as NASA explained in its ISS blog. The air leak is “still within segment specifications and presents no immediate danger to the crew or the space station,” according to NASA. Teams are rolling out a

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