Skip to comments.The ISS Is Still Leaking Air, And The Hunt For a Hole Is Taking Longer Than Expected
Posted on 09/03/2020 6:27:05 PM PDT by BenLurkin
Officials first noticed a leak last September, but they didn't do anything about it for nearly a year, since the leak wasn't major. Plus, station operations like space walks and crew exchanges kept crew members too busy to collect enough data about the issue.
Recently, however, technicians detected an increase to the already elevated leak rate. So NASA announced on August 20 that the three men aboard the station NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy and Roscosmos cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner would begin a hunt for the source.
That search is "taking longer than expected," NASA spokesman Daniel Huot told Business Insider last week.
Indeed, Huot said on Tuesday that technical teams were still reviewing the data collected by the crew. They have now ruled out most of the station's modules, Huot added, and should complete their review "in the coming days."
If specialists still can't pinpoint the leak after that, he said, they will need a new action plan.
Usually, the little bit of air that the space station loses can be replaced by launching large highly pressurised tanks filled with nitrogen and oxygen up on resupply missions. But such tanks might not be able to replace air quickly enough if this small leak were to become major.
NASA originally thought US and Russian specialists would find the leak by the end of last week, though that didn't happen. The teams decided to spend an extra few days collecting data from the hatches after the initial weekend of monitoring, Huot said.
Still, he added, the leak is too small to be a threat to the crew or the station right now.
(Excerpt) Read more at sciencealert.com ...
Is Congresscritter Adam Schiff onboard?
Helium detector [used outside]
I assume spraying bubble solution won’t work in orbit.
I used to find pinpoint leaks with an ultrasonic gadget that heterodyned ultrasonic down to audio range. Worked great on high pressure capillary plumbing for IR detectors.
This looks fun.
Way cool! I could use something like this. Wonder if it can image bats in flight?
Always check the front hole first.
If it’s an small internal leak, could they close one compartment at a time, spray an inert, lightly colored aerosol, and see if the cloud gets slowly pulled toward the source of the leak?
haha, you beat me to it.
Colleagues used to use broom handles to find superheated, supercritical steam leaks. If the broom handle was cut in two, you knew to not step in that direction.
That was the story that I heard many times. I never knew if it was true.
Yep my dad told me stories like that.
You can find air leaks in your house like that. Ventilating fans in bathrooms depressurize the room slightly and you will see a slight stain at leak points. In the attic, the converse is true. The slightly pressurized house will cause fiberglass insulation batts to get slightly stained from dust and odors getting blown out of the house through leaks.
True. Superheated High pressure dry steam can cut you in half. Its very useful in manufacturing, but very dangerous.
I would think a handheld color ir temp scanner could find some kind of temprature anomaly where the atmosphere is being pulled into. Or close to it
I spent five years starting up big industrial and utility boilers. They are some very dangerous places to work. Some colleagues had some close calls (as did I), but we got out unscathed.
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