After experiencing a small loss in cabin pressure, astronauts on the International Space State (ISS) discovered a small hole on the Russian side of the facility. The hole was approximately “two millimeters in diameter,” but required quick action to keep everyone on board safe, leading the crew to turn to tape as a temporary fix.
“The rate of the leak was slowed… through the temporary application of Kapton tape at the leak site,” said NASA, according to a report by Sky News.
Kapton tape is highly heat resistant, creating a short-term solution until a more permanent fix could be used to handle the hole.
NASA also asserted that the crew, which includes three Americans, two Russians, and one German astronaut, is “in no danger.”
According to Russian officials, the hole may have been caused by a micrometeorite strike.
“Overnight and in the morning there was an abnormal situation,” said Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin, “a pressure drop, an oxygen leak at the station.”
“A microfracture was found, most likely it is damage from the outside. The design engineers believe it is the result of a micrometeorite.”
“Flight controllers are working with the crew to develop a more comprehensive long-term repair,” NASA stated.
“Once the patching is complete, additional leak checks will be performed. All station systems are stable, and the crew is in no danger.”
The hole was found in one of two Soyuz capsules docked at the ISS.
The @Space_Station crew is conducting troubleshooting and repair work today after the discovery of a tiny leak last night traced to the Russian segment of the orbital complex. All systems are stable and the crew is in no danger. Details: https://t.co/vdbN2L02Zf pic.twitter.com/NIHoSGnHk7
— NASA (@NASA) August 30, 2018
“Flight controllers at their respective Mission Control centers in Houston and Moscow worked together with the crew to effect a repair option in which Soyuz commander Sergey Prokopyev of Roscosmos used epoxy on a gauze wipe to plug the hole identified as the leak source,” NASA later added.
“Flight controllers in Houston are continuing to monitor the station’s cabin pressure in the wake of the repair,” they continued. “All station systems are stable, and the crew is planning to return to its regular schedule of work on Friday.”