A tiny leak detected on the Space Station is now venting air into space, but NASA assures that the crew is safe and repairs are underway. "The design engineers believe it is the result of a micrometeorite", he said.
The crew aboard the International Space Station is dealing with a unique workplace hazard, but NASA says nobody is in danger.
The hole appears to have been caused by either space junk or a small meteorite colliding with the station.
Nasa confirmed the tear had led to a "minute pressure leak" and that the crew were containing the issue.
Here's the scary part - even though the leak is on 2mm, if NASA hadn't spotted it the crew would have run out of air in just 18 days. At one point, NASA astronaut Drew Feustel, who serves as the space station's commander, counseled caution. Flight controllers have partially replenished the atmosphere in the station by using the oxygen supply from a Russian cargo capsule.
Both NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) argued the breach was not risky enough to wake the astronauts from their slumber.
Sensors alerted flight controllers to a small loss of cabin pressure overnight, as the Expedition 56 crew slept. But the decision reportedly caused some tension aboard the station, with a source at the Space Center in Houston telling Interfax that the ISS commander, U.S. astronaut Andrew Feustel, disagreed with the plan. The Russian cosmonauts had plugged the hole with the sealant and restored pressure aboard the space station by Thursday evening, after which the Mission Control Center outside Moscow gave instructions to suspend works until morning.
This Soyuz - one of two up there - arrived at the orbiting lab in June with three astronauts.
Depressurisation is extremely risky for crews on board the ISS and this is not the first time a leak has happened on the ISS.
The astronauts are now working with engineers on the ground to assess whether a more robust fix is needed.
The hole is located in the upper, spherical section of the Soyuz, which does not return to Earth, according to NASA.