MOSCOW, January 25. /TASS/. Russian and US specialists are holding a meeting to look into the causes of cracks in the transfer chamber of the Zvezda module aboard the International Space Station (ISS), Chief Specialist of the Energia Space Rocket Corporation (part of Roscosmos) Alexander Spirin said on Wednesday.
"Now a meeting with US partners is being held to establish why they [the cracks] emerged. The first factor is the age, the second one relates to technological solutions that subsequently led to the cracks," Spirin said at the 47th Korolyov Readings space conference.
The normal ISS air leak is 325 grams per day, he pointed out.
"Before 2019, we complied with this norm. We reached this norm when we closed the transfer chamber," he explained, stressing that the work on the orbital outpost could be continued, if the transfer chamber was isolated and opened on rare occasions.
As Spirin’s presentation at the space conference suggests, the damaged surface was localized and the air leaks were removed in three spots after the work to track them down began in September 2020.
"As a result of the work carried out, the rate of the air leak from the transfer chamber was sequentially reduced from 1.14 kg/day to 0.47 kg/day on a permanent basis and to 0.3 kg/day on a temporary basis," the presentation says.
In March 2021, Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov carried out repair and recovery work in the Russian Zvezda module where a crack and some potential air leaks had been detected. The Russian crewmembers conducted all their operations under the direction of the ISS Russian Segment’s main operational control group and engineers of the Energia Space Rocket Corporation. All of the Russian crew’s operations were agreed with NASA specialists.
In mid-April 2022, Roscosmos cosmonaut Ivan Vagner told reporters that the air leak aboard the orbital outpost had dropped three-fold after the cracks were sealed.
The 47th Korolyov Readings space conference is running at the Bauman Moscow State Technical University on January 24-27.