Smoke alarms went off at the Russian segment of the International Space Station in the early hours of Thursday. the crew reported noticing smoke and the smell of burnt plastic. The space station is currently operated by NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei, Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur; Oleg Novitsky and Pyotr Dubrov of Russia’s Roscosmos; Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, and European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet. The incident was however without significant importance, linked to a supercharge during the batteries recharge time, and the astronauts proceeded to control the air quality activating air filters.
“A smoke detector was triggered in the Zvezda service module of the Russian segment of the International Space Station during automatic battery charging, and an alarm went off,” Roscosmos said in a statement. “All systems are operating normally,” Roscosmos added. The Russian segment of the ISS has experienced several problems recently and a space official warned last month that out-of-date software could lead to “irreparable failures”. The Zvezda module was added to the ISS in 2000. ISS crew also reported smoke from the module in 2014. The ISS has been in service for more than 20 years. Russia has previously indicated that it plans to leave the ISS after 2025 and launch its own orbital station.