జ Small air leak The Russian side was finally found, after a midnight search by astronauts at the International Space Station.
NASA said Tuesday that two Russians and an American on a plane woke up late Monday to quickly close the hatches between compartments and search for an ongoing leak. In an attempt to find a growing leak, the crew had to isolate themselves on the Russian side for the third time in just one month.
This time it will change instead of leaking bigger, NASA said, adding that the temporary temperature change caused a false cabin air pressure reading. The leak was first identified a year ago.
NASA officials said the leak was small and there was no danger. Astronauts are now trying to locate leak detectors in Russia’s main living and working compartment, known as Zvezda, Russian for Star.
Space Station Deputy Program Manager Kenny Todd said, “Instead of a barn group, we’re going down to a barn.” But he said: “This is the needle we are still looking for.”
NASA is sending additional air supply tanks on its next space station delivery, which will depart from Virginia on Thursday. As long as the leak lasts, Todd says, the space center should be fine by next spring.
In two weeks, two Russians and an American will arrive at the space station, followed by three Americans and a Japanese SpaceX second astronaut, now targeting October 31.
At a news conference Tuesday from Houston, NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins, commander, announced that the SpaceX capsule would be called a refurbishment to reflect how the world is facing challenges this year.
“We hope it brings a smile to your face and it brings something positive into your lives. Very clearly, we hope it’s an inspiration,” Hopkins said of the name and mission.