Astronauts find a gap in the international space station and repair it immediately with just one thumb



Do you think your day was bad and that everything went wrong? Well, you have nothing on the astronauts aboard the international space station. Oh nothing, they had to act just to avoid danger in the vast, solitary expanse of space.

ISS

Thanks to images: NASA

Earlier on Thursday, the astronauts were awakened on board by a call that the space station was slowly leaking air. Air traffic controllers on the ground had followed the slow pressure drop at night and decided it was not enough to wake up the crew. The astronauts Drew Feustel, Ricky Arnold, Serena Auñón Chancellor, Alexander Gerst, Oleg Artemyev and Sergey Prokopyev finally found the leak.

It turned out that air from the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft was leaking on the Russian side of the station after it had taken the crew of Expedition 56 to the ISS in June. It did not appear to be an immediate danger to the crew, but of course it still had to be found and repaired before the station gradually got out of the blue.

When they finally found the hole, it turned out to be a 2 mm puncture in the spacecraft's lane. So, in an effort to escape more air while the tools for repair were being assembled, astronaut Alexander Gerst of the ESA simply stuck his thumb.

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    ISS

    Of course, a thumb is not really the best way to fix a problem in a business-critical and very expensive space hardware, but it was only a temporary measure. Meanwhile, his fellow astronauts collected epoxy and Kapton (a durable type of tape used on space missions) and stopped the gap for real. This is only a slightly less temporary solution until the hole can be repaired in good condition.

    Systems on board the ISS have since stabilized and the Russian space agency Roscosmos investigates the cause of the flat tire.

    A small thumb for an astronaut, a giant rescue for the ISS.

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