NASA is restricting the International Space Station’s three crew members to the Russian segment for another weekend as it struggles to find the source of a persistent air leak on the orbiting laboratory.
All of the station hatches will be closed to allow mission controllers to monitor air pressure in each individual module. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration performed a similar weekend hatch closure in August, and on Thursday instructed the crew to perform additional inspections on several windows, seals and valves with specialized detectors.
NASA said the leak was detected in September 2019 and presents no immediate danger. Despite efforts to figure out where the leak is coming from, “there has been nothing conclusive yet, which is why we’re doing this again,” NASA spokesman Daniel Huot said Friday in an email.
U.S. astronaut and ISS Commander Chris Cassidy will join cosmonauts Ivan Vagner and Anatoly Ivanishin in the Russian Zvezda service module from Friday night to Monday morning.