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toast

ISS1 leak to be sought this weekend

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In September 2019, NASA and its international partners first saw indications of a slight increase above the standard cabin air leak rate. Because of routine station operations like spacewalks and spacecraft arrivals and departures, it took time to gather enough data to characterize those measurements. That rate has slightly increased, so the teams are working a plan to isolate, identify, and potentially repair the source. The leak is still within segment specifications and presents no immediate danger to the crew or the space station.

NASA

 

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acute

Stick some chewing gum in the hole.

Job done!

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OverSword
2 hours ago, acute said:

Stick some chewing gum in the hole.

Job done!

 

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seanjo
9 hours ago, toast said:

 

They seem relaxed about it, I wouldn't be, my first thought was, the station is getting on a bit and that could be a crack propagating.

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Waspie_Dwarf
1 minute ago, seanjo said:

They seem relaxed about it, I wouldn't be, my first thought was, the station is getting on a bit and that could be a crack propagating.

They are relaxed because they know it's not a big issue. As the o.p. says:

Quote

In September 2019, NASA and its international partners first saw indications of a slight increase above the standard cabin air leak rate.

There is always a slight loss of air, it's just that the amount is slightly higher than normal. So slight, in fact, that it's taken 11 months to confirm it. As the o.p. also says, the air loss is still within specification, so no major issue.

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seanjo
1 hour ago, Waspie_Dwarf said:

They are relaxed because they know it's not a big issue. As the o.p. says:

There is always a slight loss of air, it's just that the amount is slightly higher than normal. So slight, in fact, that it's taken 11 months to confirm it. As the o.p. also says, the air loss is still within specification, so no major issue.

"Know" is a strong word, they believe it is not a big issue, they won't know until they track it down.

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Jon the frog

Any bogus is a serious situation in space. Nice that the ISS is always manned so the can search and solve problems.

Imagining problems existing for months before a crew can arrive to sort it out. But worse.. the administration conundrum of sending a crew in an empty station that have problems before they arrive.

 

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Waspie_Dwarf
On 8/22/2020 at 8:58 AM, seanjo said:

"Know" is a strong word, they believe it is not a big issue, they won't know until they track it down.

Not true.

They know how big the leak is. They know how big a leak constitutes a problem and they know that this leak is within the specifications of the station, therefore they know that, currently, and for the foreseeable future, they don't have a big problem. NASA don't make decisions based on belief, they make them based on evidence. 

The issue is not currently one of safety, it is one of economics. The station ALWAYS loses a little of its air. That air is replenished by visiting freight craft, such as Progress, Cygnus and Dragon. Sending extra air means more launch weight for the freight craft, which means extra expense.

Edited to add:

NASA and Roscosmos first noticed this leak in September 2019. The fact that they have taken 11 months to see if they can find its source should tell you how much of a problem it is considered. 

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Waspie_Dwarf
26 minutes ago, Jon the frog said:

Imagining problems existing for months before a crew can arrive to sort it out. But worse.. the administration conundrum of sending a crew in an empty station that have problems before they arrive.

 

I really don't see your point here. You seem to be arguing that sending a crew to a station with a known problem is more dangerous than a crew experiencing an unexpected problem. If that is your argument it seems to go against all logic and commonsense. 

If a station is not crewed then no one is in danger. If a repair crew is sent to a leaking space station then they would go there fully equipped and trained to face the issues. 

Skylab was damaged during launch in 1973. The first crew launch was delayed so the situation could be assessed. They were then launched to repair the station, which they successfully did.

In 1985 Salyut 7 suffered serious malfunctions. The soviet Union sent a repair crew, who successfully resurrected the station.

Neither of those crews were in particular danger (above that incurred by spaceflight).

In 1997 a Progress spacecraft collided with the Spektr module of the Mir space station, causing rapid depressurisation. The crew had to fight to save the station, which they did. That crew WERE in severe danger.

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South Alabam

Once they isolate the modules to find which one is leaking, I bet it is still a challenge to find where. But no doubt, they will find it.

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Jon the frog
Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, Waspie_Dwarf said:

I really don't see your point here. You seem to be arguing that sending a crew to a station with a known problem is more dangerous than a crew experiencing an unexpected problem. If that is your argument it seems to go against all logic and commonsense. 

If a station is not crewed then no one is in danger. If a repair crew is sent to a leaking space station then they would go there fully equipped and trained to face the issues. 

Skylab was damaged during launch in 1973. The first crew launch was delayed so the situation could be assessed. They were then launched to repair the station, which they successfully did.

In 1985 Salyut 7 suffered serious malfunctions. The soviet Union sent a repair crew, who successfully resurrected the station.

Neither of those crews were in particular danger (above that incurred by spaceflight).

In 1997 a Progress spacecraft collided with the Spektr module of the Mir space station, causing rapid depressurisation. The crew had to fight to save the station, which they did. That crew WERE in severe danger.

If a crew is already there, they have the chance to look at the problem and resolve it, or bail out. I talk more about the administration problem to send people in an unknown situation. They have to go into risk management, look if the situation is stable enough and if a ship docking could spell disaster. Right now they have a crew up there, it's a way easier and faster to find the problem and sort it out so if a repair crew need to go up, they will have all the information for the job at hand.

So I talk about the administration conundrum of launching a crew for repair in a unknown situation . Space flight mean risk all the time, but administration could take a hell of time with safety measure that we have now, and they are not the same than in the space race a while ago... Obama and Trump talked about defunding the station... lurking administrator could jump on a situation like that to pull the plug but having a crew up there to tackle the issue help a lot. 

Edited by Jon the frog

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