The leaking Soyuz – one of two up there – arrived at the orbiting lab in June with three astronauts. Russia’s manned space program director Sergei Krikalev said the fracture could be due to a materials flaw or a micrometeorite strike. The cabin pressure had dropped overnight. The hole only measured about 2mm across, and no one is certain how it happened.
It was not danger for the crew. If it had been left undiscovered, the ISS would have run out of air in around 18 days, according to NASA. When the repair operation began, one of the astronauts first sticked finger at the hole. This was followed by Soyuz commander Sergey Prokopyev of Roscosmos sticking gauze cloth with expoxy over the area. A better long-term solution it’s expected to be found. “Once the patching is complete, additional leak checks will be performed,” NASA said. “All station systems are stable, and the crew is in no danger as the work to develop a long-term repair continues.” Six men are currently orbiting Earth aboard the ISS, including NASA astronauts Drew Feustel, Ricky Arnold and Serena Aunon, as well as Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency and two Russian cosmonauts – Oleg Artemyev and Sergei Prokopyev.