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Space Station leaking/losing air pressure

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posted on Jan, 6 2004 @ 01:26 AM
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NASA is now saying that the ISS is slowly losing air pressure... or, to clarify, is losing air pressure at a noticeably greater than expected rate. Still, this leak is not yet catastrophic... nor is it great enough to endanger the crew in the short term.

I wonder if that 'bang' the onboard astronauts experienced a few weeks ago is related to this?

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[Edited on 6-1-2004 by ultra_phoenix]




posted on Jan, 6 2004 @ 01:33 AM
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Obviously if they cannot stop the leak the 2 people on board will have to evacuate back to Earth. The station needs the shuttle to keep it up and running.



posted on Jan, 6 2004 @ 01:54 AM
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I remember that, back in February, many experts argued that the station could not (or should not) be abandoned, even for a short time. So, if they plop back to earth in the Soyuz, they might be abandoning the ISS for good -- a project that cost around 100 Billion to build (up to this point).

In the 70s, three different NASA crews manned the Skylab station, each time 'abandoning' it for the next crew. the ISS, however, is much larger and maintenance hungry. If it is 'leaking' and has to be abandoned at the point (perhaps months from now) where it can no longer maintain a hospitable atmosphere, it might be unable to be salvaged a year or so from now.



posted on Jan, 6 2004 @ 02:50 AM
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Well, it shouldn't be that hard to find the leak, really. It just requires a spacewalk. Check the exterior of the ISS, where you see the gas whizzing out, there's the leak. You might wonder how it's possible to see, well, the gas is supersonically expanded (this is an effect that is also observed with a CO2 fire extinguisher) and therefore should get so cold that you should be able to see condensation at the leak, and therefore it will be visible.
Close of the leak and presto!!



posted on Jan, 6 2004 @ 08:26 AM
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If the leak was big enough to be visible it would be a danger in the short term. Its only 0.04psi per day at the moment.



posted on Jan, 6 2004 @ 03:04 PM
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This article from the AP says that its has lost 1/4 pound per square inch of pressure since Dec 29. It is supposed to stay at 14.7 PSI. Does anyone know what the minimum pressure for human life is, because, from these numbers, we can guess how long Kaleri and Foale have to find the leak?

space.com...



posted on Jan, 6 2004 @ 08:07 PM
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I thought the same thing and wrote the crew about it being hit a few weeks back, since internal valve's are OK it may be a scratch that is causing the loss from being hit.
I decided to write the crew since having lost 2 shuttle's from Management doing NOTHING to warn the crews of a possible danger they should part of the decision.

Michael


ps - I think the station is a bottomless pit and we could really build a better station if we wanted too.



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