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11.26.20
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Space Station Leak Looks Like a “Scratch,” Cosmonaut Says

__Victor Tangermann__Filed Under: Sci-Fi Visions
NASA

But a Scratch

It’s been over a week since astronauts on the International Space Station finally found the leak that had been letting air out into the emptiness of space.

Crews had been feverishly hunting the leak for several months — and now that they’ve found it, they’re able to have a closer look.

“What we see is what I would describe as a scratch,” cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin said during a press conference, as Russian state news agency TASS reports, following his safe landing back on Earth on October 21. “I am not inclined to use the word ‘crack’ because we cannot look deep into the metal’s structure.”

“This scratch is several centimeters long, about 2-3 cm,” he added, noting that the scratch was curved as well.

Plugging With Tea

During the search for the leak, none of the current members on board the station were ever in danger, according to both Russian space agency Roscosmos and NASA.

Ivanishin also discussed the decision to use floating tea leaves to spot the leak. “We tried this in the evening before closing the hatch and then we opened the hatch and it was only in the evening that my colleague Ivan discovered that a large amount of tea leaves had amassed in a certain place,” he said.

Engineers back on Earth are now trying to figure out what caused the leak. According to TASS, it’s been temporarily patched using “Kapton tape,” while the crew waits for a more permanent fix.

READ MORE: Air leak spot aboard orbital outpost looks more like a scratch, says cosmonaut [TASS]

More on the leak: They Found the Space Station Leak… Using Tea Leaves