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NASA Monitors Increasing Leakage on Russian Module of the International Space Station

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has been closely monitoring a leakage issue on the Russian module of the International Space Station (ISS) for the past four years, which appears to be getting worse.
Despite the deterioration, there is no immediate threat to the safety of astronauts, claim both American and Russian space agencies.

ISS program manager Joel Montalbano disclosed during a Wednesday press briefing, that the rate of leakage from the Zvezda service module has doubled.

Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, initially reported the leakage in August 2020, which affects the Zvezda module launched in July 2000. According to the agency, the leak is located at the Prk section, which serves as the junction between the docking port and the rest of the module. This is a critical segment of the ISS that contains vital life support systems, which would be of utmost importance in emergency situations for the crew.

Gizmodo noted that the leakage accelerated a week before the February 14 docking of the Progress MS-26 cargo spacecraft, which connected to the aft end of the Zvezda module. The hatch between the ship and the module remained open for five days during offloading operations before being sealed.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, Roscosmos also acknowledged the leakage, noting that the crew was actively searching for the source and working on repairs.

Both NASA and Roscosmos emphasize that the leak poses no danger to those aboard the ISS, nor to the station itself. They are working together to find a possible solution.

The ISS has been orbiting Earth since 1998, and according to original plans, it is expected to remain operational until 2030. Whether the station will be decommissioned or its mission extended beyond that date is still undecided.

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