Space Station air leak temporarily patched

The crew aboard the International Space Station is dealing with a unique workplace hazard, but NASA says nobody is in danger.

Flight controllers on Earth began to notice signs of a slight pressure drop in the orbiting laboratory around 7 p.m. EDT (2300 GMT), while the six crewmembers of Expedition 56 were sleeping, NASA officials said in a statement today (Aug. 30).

Russian space chief Dmitry Rogozin said air was being sucked out of the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft, which is docked with the ISS.

A NASA spokesman said it was premature to speculate on whether the three might have to return to earth early if the leak, even as small as it is, can not be stopped.

"... after extensive checks, reported that the leak appears to be on the Russian side of the orbital outpost", NASA announced in a news release.

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Space officials said the leak had been "isolated to a hole about two millimetres in diameter" and slowed through the use of thermoresistant tape, but added that a more permanent solution was being developed.

The six astronauts were alerted to the breach on Thursday morning and fix procedures are now in effect.

The hole is located in the upper section of the Soyuz, which does not return to Earth, according to NASA. Additional updates will be posted on NASA's International Space Station blog as more information becomes available, NASA spokesperson Dan Huot told Space.com in an email.

Six crew members are on the ISS, led by station Commander and NASA astronaut Drew Feustel.

The astronauts now onboard the ISS are NASA astronuats Drew Feustel, Serena Auñón-Chancellor and Ricky Arnold, ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst and Russian astronauts Sergei Prokopyev and Oleg Artemyev.

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