MOSCOW, March 1. /TASS/. The work to seal the crack in the intermediate chamber of the Russian Zvezda module of the International Space Station (ISS) will begin on March 1 and last five days, Russia’s Flight Control Center said during talks with the orbital outpost on Monday.
"Our work in the intermediate chamber is planned [for] five days, beginning from today," a Flight Control Center specialist said during the communications session broadcast live on NASA’s website.
On March 1, the cosmonauts will fill the crack with the sealant, then lay polyurethane foam and patch up the fracture with the tape, the Flight Control Center specified.
"The work [must be carried out] with the use of individual protection gear," the specialist stressed. Specifically, the cosmonauts would need to use alcohol wipes and respirators and carry out work on command from Earth instead of using a timing diagram, he said.
As follows from the talks, then a hole will be drilled at one of the fracture’s ends, which will be filled with cold welding and sealed with a fluoroplastic film on top. The same procedure will be done with other holes. After that, the surface will be sanded and wiped with alcohol wipes and covered with a sealant. Overall, the cosmonauts will put three layers of the sealant.
Air pressure in the intermediate chamber of the Zvezda module
On the evening of February 26, the cosmonauts closed the hatch of the intermediate chamber. The air pressure measured 730 mm Hg at the time. During the weekend, the Russian crewmembers monitored the air pressure in the intermediate chamber every four hours. The cosmonauts reported on Monday morning that the air pressure measured 465 mm Hg.
The press office of the Russian space agency Roscosmos told TASS last week that the cosmonauts had temporarily isolated several possible air leak spots. Following this, the Russian crewmembers opened and examined them with the help of a microscope and other instruments and then temporarily sealed them again. This week, the cosmonauts are planning to seal the first crack.