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Leak on ISS still leaking even after being temporarily sealed with tape

Even though Russian astronauts have now patched with Kapton tape the 1-inch crack where they thought the leak in the Zvezda module on ISS was located, the loss of air has continued, and even increased.

The pressure in the Zvezda module of the International Space Station (ISS) keeps lowering, although the fissure was patched with Kapton tape, and even faster than before the fix, the crew told the ground control on Tuesday, as broadcast by NASA.

They are going to add more tape to the patch and see if this seals the leak.

Meanwhile, there has been little discussion about the nature of this 1-inch crack. Was it caused by a micrometeorite, or is it a stress fracture? And where exactly is it, and does that location help explain it?

Inquiring minds need to know!

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5 comments

  • pzatchok

    Either its not the only hole in that module or those fancy scientists don’t know how to use tape.

    If its a stress fracture then they are in very big trouble. Very big.
    They do not stop propagating unless the stress is totally releaved.

    Normally if a crack shows up you would stop its spread by drilling a neat clean round hole at either end. Just like with round plane windows the round hole then radiates the stress outward and hopefully spreads it our enough to stop the crack from getting longer.

    If the crack is at the junction of a support beam and the outer skin, tape might not be able to seal it since more crack could be running under the support beam.

    They can stop the crack for now and seal the hole(s) but unless they find out why its happening the whole thing could just keep cracking.
    It could be something like station twist and or uneven expansion from thermal cycling and there is nothing they could do about that.

    Inside and outside pictures would be nice.

  • Ryan Lawson

    How the heck does sealing a crack increase the loss rate!? So that crack must not be the source and something they did while getting at it or testing it only made the real crack worse? Or there are multiple leaks and sealing this one put more pressure on the other one and it worsened? Would love to see photos so I could hop in my VR ISS and look at the spot personally, from the inside and outside.

  • LocalFluff

    Have they ran out of tea bags for further investigation?
    There’s no reason to worry. Please go to sleep, wearing your pressure suite.

  • David M. Cook

    I would have used J.B.Weld instead of NASA‘s $600/roll ”duct tape“ (kapton).

  • Jay

    Or Flex-Seal. I can see the commercial now… they fly the guy up who does the Flex-Seal commercials, fixes the problem in Zvezda, and makes a new pressurized module with just some chicken wire and five gallons of the stuff. Eat your heart out Bigelow!

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