International Space Station leak: "Minute pressure leak" detected Wednesday evening

56-57 crew successfully docked at the International Space Station via the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft

56-57 crew successfully docked at the International Space Station via the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft

While NASA decides on a permanent fix, astronauts have used gauze and sealant to complete temporary repairs after a leak caused a drop in air pressure at the International Space Station.

The leak was slow and posed no danger to people on board, according to NASA, with mission control deciding that crew members could sleep before locating it.

A small air leak was detected on the International Space Station Wednesday night (Aug. 29) but does not pose an immediate danger to the astronauts now living aboard the orbiting laboratory.

The leak was found in the Soyuz craft, which is docked with the ISS, reported Russian space chief Dmitry Rogozin. NASA has three members now aboard the station, Europe has one, and Russian Federation two.

Because the pressure loss was "very small", flight controllers determined that the astronauts and cosmonauts "are in no danger", officials with the European Space Agency (ESA) said in a separate statement. Larger human-made debris in space, the size of a softball or bigger, is tracked from the ground, and if it appears to threaten the International Space Station, the orbiting laboratory is maneuvered around the material.

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The International Space Station orbits some 250 miles above Earth's surface, and is routinely exposed to impacts by tiny, fast-moving objects like paint chips, often leaving marks on the outside of the station's hull.

Oleg Artemyev and Sergey Prokopyev of Roscosmos, both from Russian Federation. Flight controllers will monitor the pressure trends overnight.

NASA is not now willing to comment on what caused the leak.

The ISS first launched in 1998 and has on occasion had to adjust course to avoid a collision with space debris.

This developing story will be updated. News 6 digital journalist Emilee Speck spoke to Harwood about the leak on the ISS and other recent space news.

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