Sci-tech

Small Meteorite Hits Space Station

Small Meteorite Hits Space Station

The leak is coming from a two-millimetre hole in the orbital compartment of the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft in the Russian segment, a section that does not return to Earth. Yesterday, crewmembers traced the leak to a 2-millimeter-wide hole in one of the two Russian Soyuz spacecraft that's now docked to the orbiting lab. Due to the object's small size, the lives of the astronauts were never in danger, with NASA adding that the "crew are healthy and safe with weeks of air left in the International Space Station reserves".

Space agency chief Dmitry Rogozin said the hole detected Thursday in a Russian space craft docked at the orbiting station was caused by a drill and could have been done deliberately, either back on Earth or in space.

The urgent filling of the sealant insisted the Russian space Agency, while NASA first wanted to test on the Ground the implications of this decision.

As the Telegraph reports, NASA's live radio feed to astronauts aboard the ISS revealed that one of the astronauts was forced to plug the small hole with his thumb while the rest of the crew readied a more permanent fix. Instead of carrying out an inspection of the station, the controllers advised the crew to go to bed, as there were no signs of any immediate danger.

More news: Manchester City beat Newcastle United 2-1 in Premier League tie

The 2mm wide "micro fracture" in the £115 billion NASA satellite was discovered after crew noticed a drop in pressure.

In addition to the micro-meteorites that already inhabit space it's believed that there are some 500,000 additional pieces of space litter now orbiting the Earth.

The leak rate was minuscule, and the crew put Kapton tape over the hole to slow the loss of pressure even further.

They found it in the Russian Soyuz vehicle used to bring three crewmen to the station on 8 June, among them Europe's Alexander Gerst, who is set to take command of the outpost. "The design engineers believe it is the result of a micrometeorite", he said. Flight controllers are working with the crew to develop a more comprehensive long-term fix.