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Russia Confirms Small But Growing Leak in Space Station

Pfffffft

Russia's space agency has confirmed that air is continuing to leak from its segment of the International Space Station and that specialists are monitoring the situation — though not enough, they say, to endanger the crew there.

The news comes after NASA's ISS program manager Joel Montalbano told reporters during a Crew-8 mission briefing that Russia's Zvezda life support module had a small but growing leak.

"There is an area at the end of the International Space Station that we've seen a leak," he said, as quoted by Science Alert. "There is a small leak."

"We saw a leak increase about a week before the recent Progress launch and docking," he added, referring to a recent mission to the station.

When It Leaks, It Pours

It's far from the first time we've heard of a leak on board the ISS. In 2020, NASA detected a drop in air pressure, triggering a months-long hunt for the source of the leak. Russia's Zvezda service module, which is also used for evacuations, turned out to be a culprit, with crew members patching it up.

A seemingly different leak was then spotted by a Russian cosmonaut the next year. A "final air leak" followed in 2022, as identified by Russian news agency TASS, with officials promising that it would be plugged.

Given the latest news, the Zvezda module is still somehow leaking air — and that's not to mention misfiring Russian rockets and radiator leaks plaguing the station's crew members.

Russia has long complained of the aging orbital outpost's sorry state and that it's "irreparable."

The nation has also vowed to pull out of the ISS sometime "after 2024" and build its own space station.

It's a pitiful end to decades of peaceful scientific cooperation — but NASA wants to stick it out until at least 2030, which means it'll have to find the source of the latest leak one way or the other.

More on the leaks: Another Russian Spacecraft Docked to the ISS Just Sprang a Leak