Air leak temporarily patched at International Space Station

International Space Station leak to be plugged after suspected micrometeorite hit

"A micro fracture was found, most likely it is damage from the outside".

The leak was detected on Wednesday night - possibly from a micrometeorite strike - when it caused a small drop in cabin pressure.

Dmitry Rogozin, head of Russian space agency Roscosmos told state news agency TASS that a "micro-fracture" was found in a side compartment of the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft now docked with the space station. NASA officials said the hole was discovered in part of the Soyuz that does not return to Earth.

After waking at the regular time, the six crew members started search procedures and finally localized the leak to the Russian side of the station.

Thursday morning, the crew taped over the hole, slowing the leak. "Once the patching is complete, additional leak checks will be performed".

The six astronauts were alerted to the breach on Thursday morning and fix procedures are now in effect.

The Russian crew was going to apply an epoxy to the hole and seal it; however, Moscow officials eventually agreed to hold off and use a temporary patch, giving the temporary patch one hour before applying the sealant.

The Russian space agency Roscosmos has not released an update. All six astronauts joined in the hunt, closing off individual modules within the station to better locate the source.

The station's current Expedition 56 crew includes NASA astronuats Drew Feustel, Serena Auñón-Chancellor and Ricky Arnold; Russian cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev and Sergei Prokopyev; and German astronaut Alexander Gerst, of the European Space Agency.

The space station, which has been continuously occupied since November 2000, has an internal pressurized volume equal that of a Boeing 747, according to NASA.

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