FP TrendingAug 21, 2020 17:05:00 IST
Crewmembers of Expedition 63 at the International Space Station will be spending the weekend in the orbiting laboratory's Russian segment, inside the Zvezda service module, as NASA tracks down the source of a minor air leak.
Commander Chris Cassidy and his crewmates Ivan Vagner and Anatoly Ivanishin will be staying in the service module from Friday night to Monday morning, the statement added.
NASA has further added that astronauts can work in the station in a maintained atmosphere pressure that is comfortable for the crew member. However, a tiny bit of air leaks over the team, requiring routine re-pressurisation from nitrogen tanks that are delivered during resupply missions.
As per the statement, NASA and its international partners first saw indications of a slight increase in the standard cabin air leak in September 2019. The teams are now working a plan to identify and repair the source.
The space station hatches will be closed over the weekend so mission controllers can monitor the air pressure inside each module. The test will check as to which module is experiencing a higher-than-normal leak rate and specialists from US and Russia are expecting preliminary results by the end of next week.
In an interaction with Space.com, NASA spokesperson Dan Huot pointed out that the leak did not interfere with normal operations. The rate of air loss accelerating was not high enough to cause alarm either.
"Now that we have a relatively quiet period in the operations — spacewalks, vehicle traffic, additional crew members can all result in fluctuations — the crew will be shutting the hatches to every single module so the ground can monitor each module’s pressure to further isolate the source" of the leak, Huot said.
As per the report astronauts deal with leak simulations during training for their stays on the space station.
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