TECH
31/08/2018 09:44 BST

NASA Astronauts Patch Leak Found On The International Space Station

The crew have now covered the hole with some tape.

A tiny hole that was allowing air to leak from the International Space Station has now been patched by the astronauts on board.

NASA and Russian space officials stressed the six astronauts were in no danger.

The leak was detected on Wednesday night — possibly after a micro-meteorite strike — resulting in a small loss of cabin pressure.

NASA NASA / Reuters

It was traced to a hole about 2 millimetres across in the most recent Soyuz capsule docked at the space station.

On Thursday morning, the crew taped over the hole, slowing the leak. Flight controllers monitored the cabin pressure while working to come up with a better long-term solution.

The leaking Soyuz — one of two at the station — arrived at the orbiting lab in June with three astronauts.

It will also take them home in December, and serves as a lifeboat in case of an emergency.

A NASA spokesman said it was too early to speculate on whether the three might have to return to Earth early if the leak cannot be stopped.

The hole is located in the upper section of the Soyuz, which does not return to Earth, according to NASA.

The 250-mile-high outpost is home to three Americans, two Russians and one German. Orbital debris is a constant threat to spacecraft, even the tiniest specks.

Space debris is a constant source of concern for the International Space Station.

In 2015, the crew of the International Space Station were forced to take shelter in one of the spacecraft docked at the time after NASA detected a large piece of incoming space debris.

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