Space Station Experiencing Possible Leak - small air purifier
Cape canaveral, Florida.
-Flight controllers assured two men on the International Space Station on Tuesday that they were trying to find the cause of the slow drop in air pressure and said the problem could take weeks to resolve.
Space officials in the United States and Russia have stressed that there is no immediate danger to the operation of crew and orbital outposts.
If the pressure drops to a dangerous low, astronaut Michael fall and astronaut Alexander calery can give up the space station in the docking space capsule and quickly return to Earth (search).
"We will take a very measured and methodical approach to this problem," said Mike Suffredini, station operations and integration manager.
"If it's actually a leak, we're not sure it's a leak, we have, oh, there's more than half a year on board to feed it, so we're not in a rush to overreact.
"Foale and Kaleri spent the next day looking for potential leaks.
They used an ultrasonic leak detector to check the hatch, windows and valves of the entire complex, but found nothing suspicious.
They will check a Russian on Friday.
The air purifier that engineers think may be the culprit.
"Let's cross our fingers and we're narrowing the scope of this guy," Foale said . ".
Suffredini says the space station has lost 2 pounds of its air every day in the past two weeks.
Usually in complex in about 34 pounds of air in 900 pounds of air disappear.
The space station has now dropped to 14.
The pressure per square inch is 2 pounds, Suffredini says, which is where the flight rules require replenishment.
But the device did not start to fail until 13.
9 pounds per square inch, the actual cut-off point for systems and humans is about 10.
It's 2 pounds square inches, said soufridini.
Russian space station oldMir (search)
Often troubled by air leaks.
Kaleri was a member of some of them on board and Foale was present when Mir was struck by a supply ship on 1997.
The cracked laboratory module must be sealed.
However, the International Space Station is larger than Mir and it may take longer to find a leak.
This is the biggest long-term loss of air pressure on the space station.
If Russian carbon
The carbon dioxide removal unit and other equipment are well inspected and the next step will be the closure of the hatch between Foale and KaleriS.
The Russian side of the space station is trying to isolate any leaks.
If that doesn't work, then each compartment is sealed one at a time.
If there are still no holes in this, then the more specific point isto-
A dot search will be conducted.
Flight controllers informed Foale and Kaleri of pressure drops on Monday.
Although the first Test was around January.
2. the pressure of decline and fluctuation has been traced back to December. 22.
It coincides with the failure and final failure of the primary oxygen generator on board and may be related to the use of spare oxygen
The cans have just expired, but Russian space officials have re-certified them for use in the coming year. NASA (search)
He said the downward pressure could also be related to a sharp change in the amount of sunlight recently exposed to the space station, not to actual leaks.
No matter what the reason is, the problem comes up at a bad time.
Due to the Colombian Tragedy, NASA's space shuttle has been suspended indefinitely and there is no way to ship all the necessary spare parts.
Russian ships are too small to carry large equipment.
The crew had been reduced from 3 to 2 before the shuttle resumed.
Foale, 47, was the station commander on Tuesday. he moved in with Kaleri on October and lived 6-month stay.
A Russian psychic has helped with the pressure issue.
The man claimed that he had been living on the space station for the past month and could not see it, and he knew exactly where the leak was.
"A complete madman," Vladimir Solovyov, head of the Russian Mission Control Department, told the crew on the track.
"Don't spend too much time looking for that guy anyway.
"Reply to space:" understand. "