Russian Federation to Stop Transporting US Astronauts to Space After 2019, Official Says

Russian Soyuz MS-09 crew craft left and the Northrop Grumman Cygnus space freighter attached to the International Space Station

NASA: Leak detected on International Space Station

A leak from a two-millimeter hole caused a minor reduction in cabin pressure in the orbiting space station, according to NASA.

Relations have been strained between Russia and the United States over conflicts in Ukraine and Syria, as well as allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election.

NASA says cabin pressure is holding steady on the International Space Station after crews repaired a small hole in one of the Soyuz spacecraft attached to it.

Depressurisation is extremely risky for crews on board the ISS and this is not the first time a leak has happened on the ISS. "The design engineers believe it is the result of a micrometeorite", he said.

It measured around 2 millimeters across and, during a live feed to Nasa's ground crew, staff apparently commented: 'Right now Alex has got his finger on that hole and I don't think that's the best remedy for it'.

After the Russian crew taped over the hole, a sealant on a cloth was stuck over the area.

Russia's Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft carrying the members of the International Space Station
International Space Station leak may have been caused by micrometeorite strike

"As the teams were discussing options, flight controllers in Moscow performed a partial increase of the station's atmosphere using the ISS Progress 70 cargo ship's oxygen supply", explained NASA.

Mission controllers were first alerted to the issue by air pressure sensors on board the station.

At the same time, the Director of the Russian program of space flight Sergei Krikalev told the news Agency TASS reported that Russia may proceed with a contract with NASA.

All members of the space station crew arrive and depart on Soyuz capsules.

The leak was assessed as a non-emergency and the astronauts were informed upon waking up Thursday morning.

In fact, NASA have released a statement saying it is far to early in the day to speculate on whether they might have to return to Earth early if the leak can not be stopped. "They travel at speeds up to 17,500 miles per hour, fast enough for a relatively small piece of orbital debris to damage a satellite or a spacecraft".

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