The crew of the International Space Station (ISS) has completely sealed the first crack in the Russian Zvezda module, a spokesman for the press service of the Rocket and Space Corporation Energia (Roscosmos enterprise) told RIA Novosti. A patch was installed on the crack. Previously, it caused air leaks from the station.
Now on the ISS are the Russians Sergey Ryzhikov, Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, the Americans Kathleen Rubins, Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker, as well as the Japanese Soichi Noguchi.
“Today, as part of the work to eliminate leaks in the Zvezda module, the Russian ISS crew under the guidance of specialists from the main operational control group of the ISS Russian segment will open the intermediate chamber hatch and apply a layer of sealant from the end of the previously installed pad,” the corporation’s press service representative said. The second crack is planned to be repaired by March 12th.
In October 2020, the ISS crew found a 4.4–4.5 cm long crack in the intermediate chamber of the Russian Zvezda module, which was later temporarily sealed. Cosmonaut Sergei Ryzhikov suggested that it could have appeared due to an external impact. A new air leak on the ISS was discovered in mid-December 2020. According to the head of Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin, air leakage and pressure drop on the ISS could have occurred due to the operation of instruments in the American segment of the station.
In February, from the dialogues during the negotiations of the ISS crew with the Earth, it became known that there may be six cracks in the body of the Russian ISS module, due to which air leaks occur. At the same time, Roskosmos excludes that the fatigue of the station metal may be the cause of the formation of cracks. On March 4, the ISS was extended until 2028.