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Space & Astronomy

ISS air leak finally traced using a tea bag

By T.K. Randall
October 17, 2020 · Comment icon 8 comments

There is more than one use for a tea bag in space... Image Credit: NASA
The leak that has plagued the ISS for months has finally been found using a surprisingly low-tech item.
The leak was actually first noticed in September 2019, however at the time the air loss was very slight and it wasn't until recently that the issue became serious enough to warrant direct investigation.

Finding the location of a tiny leak on such a large orbital outpost however is no easy task.

Back in August, the US astronauts were forced to spend a few nights in the Russian segment of the station while NASA ground crews carried out an investigation into the issue, and while the mystery of the leak's location was closer to being solved, it's precise whereabouts still remained unknown.

Now though, at last, cosmonauts aboard the station have finally revealed that they have pinpointed the location of the elusive leak using a rather unconventional tool - a tea bag.
While they were not forthcoming in exactly how this may have helped them find the leak, reports indicate that they have since been working on a way to patch the hole.

Also, while this has been going on, Roscosmos has been attempting to deal with a failed oxygen supply system in the Russian part of the station.

Both problems are a sign of the age of the orbiting outpost - parts of which are now over 20 years old.

Sadly, issues such as these are likely to become more commonplace over the coming years.

Source: | Comments (8)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Spooky Shiba 2 years ago
Share the secret of the tea bag!! I must know how they found the leak with one LOL
Comment icon #2 Posted by NCC1701 2 years ago
Maybe the label attached to the teabag acted like a flag. It draws the heavier bag in the direction of the leak as it floats around the station.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Iilaa'mpuul'xem 2 years ago
I love this.... 
Comment icon #4 Posted by acute 2 years ago
I put the leak down to Russian flatulence, with their potato-based diet. 
Comment icon #5 Posted by third_eye 2 years ago
Lesson of the day, mash potatoes might give you the runs but at least you don't make a sound...  ~
Comment icon #6 Posted by the13bats 2 years ago
Comment icon #7 Posted by Aardvark-DK 2 years ago
ISS worth billions of $ Earl Gray tea bag worth 10 cents
Comment icon #8 Posted by moonman 2 years ago
probably emptied the bag and watched where the tea bits went

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