"A micro fracture was found, most likely it is damage from the outside".
Flight controllers on Earth began to notice signs of a slight pressure drop in the orbiting laboratory around 7 p.m. EDT (2300 GMT), while the six crewmembers of Expedition 56 were sleeping, NASA officials said in a statement today (Aug. 30).
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In a status update, NASA said the leak was isolated to a hole that's about 2 millimeters (0.07 inches) in diameter in the orbital compartment of Russia's Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft, which is attached to the Russian-built Rassvet module on the station.
NASA confirmed the problem and said it consisted of a "minute pressure leak", which crew members were repairing. "This is a section of the Soyuz that does not return to Earth", NASA explained.
This is not the first time a small leak has sprung up on the space station, which has been continuously inhabited by rotating crews since 2000. "Once the patching is complete, additional leak checks will be performed".
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Officials from Houston and Moscow will continue to monitor the situation as the crew works through its troubleshooting procedures.
The astronauts now onboard the ISS are NASA astronuats Drew Feustel, Serena Auñón-Chancellor and Ricky Arnold, ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst and Russian astronauts Sergei Prokopyev and Oleg Artemyev.
Both American and Russian mission controllers, as well as all six astronauts, are still attempting to permanently seal the leak.
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A joint crew effort led the astronauts to discover a small breach in a Russian segment of the ISS.