Astronaut uses finger to shuffle hole on residence draw

The International Space Station.                        NASA

The International Space Station's cabin pressure is holding steady after crews repaired a leak on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft attached to the orbital complex, Russia's space agency said Friday.

When the two-millimetre slash was detected, European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst reportedly put his finger over the hole to try to plug the leak. Upon waking at their normal hour, the crew's first task was to work with flight controllers at Mission Control in Houston and at the Russian Mission Control Center outside Moscow to locate the source of the leak.

A small leak that was detected on the International Space Station has now been temporarily fixed.

This morning the crew gathered in the Russian segment of the Space Station before searching for the cause of the pressure change. Flight controllers will monitor the pressure trends overnight.

To slack the leak, the crew used Kapton, a roughly industrial strength "residence tape" that remains stable across outrageous temperatures.

The crew's makeshift repairs to the leak seemingly have stabilised the situation - for now at least - it's been reported by officials.

"As the teams were discussing options, flight controllers in Moscow performed a partial increase of the station's atmosphere using the ISS Progress 70 cargo ship's oxygen supply".

The astronauts were instructed to try to find the leak, eventually tracing it to the Russian Soyuz vehicle that was used to carry three crewmembers to the ISS on 8 June.

A NASA spokesperson stated that they could not speculate at the moment if the three astronauts must return earlier or not, in case the small leak cannot be stopped.

Three Americans, two Russians and a German are now on board the station.

Impacts from tiny meteoroids are a permanent threat to the orbiting platform and it was built to withstand the constant bombardment from the dusty fragments that whizz about above the Earth.

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