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Space Station Crew Repairing ‘Micro’ Leak Likely Caused By Meteorite Strike


A file photo of the International Space Station

The crew of the International Space Station (ISS) is working to repair a small leak on a Soyuz capsule that was most likely caused by a collision with a small meteorite, NASA and Russian officials say.

NASA and Roscosmos on August 30 said the six-member crew aboard the ISS was not in any danger from what was described as a "micro" pressure leak.

Russian officials said the pressure was detected on August 29 and is believed to be in the Soyuz capsule docked at the space station.

The Soyuz is one of two docked at the orbiting lab, having arrived at the ISS in June carrying three astronauts. The crew members are scheduled to take the same capsule back to Earth in December.

"Overnight and in the morning, there was an abnormal situation -- a pressure drop, an oxygen leak at the station," Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying.

"A micro fracture was found, most likely it is damage from the outside. The design engineers believe it is the result of a micrometeorite," he said.

NASA said "the leak has been isolated to a hole about 2 millimeters in diameter."

The crew aboard the ISS consists of NASA astronauts Drew Feustel, Ricky Arnold, and Serena Aunon, Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency, and two Russian cosmonauts -- Oleg Artemyev and Sergei Prokopyev.

Based on reporting by AFP, AP, and TASS
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