Small cracks found in International Space Station module: report

Small cracks have been found in the International Space Station’s Zarya module, based on a brand new report.

“Superficial fissures have been found in some places on the Zarya module,” Vladimir Solovyov, chief engineer of Moscow-based firm Energia, the prime contractor for Russia’s human spaceflight program, informed Russia’s state-owned RIA information agency, Reuters reported today (Aug. 30). “This is bad and suggests that the fissures will begin to spread over time.”

Solovyov didn’t say whether or not the cracks, which had been found by Russian cosmonauts, have brought on any air to leak from Zarya (Russian for “Dawn”), Reuters added.

Related: Building the International Space Station (photos)

Zarya, often known as the FCB (brief for “Functional Cargo Block”), is a part of the International Space Station’s (ISS) Russian phase. It was the primary piece of the station to achieve orbit, launching in November 1998. 

This is not the primary time cracks have been found on the ISS, which rotating astronaut crews have been occupying constantly since November 2000. For instance, fissures in the Russian Zvezda module brought on a small air leak on the orbiting lab that was detected in September 2019. Cosmonauts patched these Zvezda cracks in October 2020 and March of this year, however the subject has persevered; final month, Russia reported another pressure drop in the module, which launched to Earth orbit in July 2000. 

(ISS controllers observed an air leak in August 2018 as properly, however they quickly decided that one was attributable to a drill hole in an hooked up Russian Soyuz spacecraft. How that hole bought there has not been definitively established. Most consultants say it possible resulted from human error on the bottom, however an unnamed Russian space official not too long ago tried to pin the blame on NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor. That cost is baseless, NASA officers say.) 

July 2021 additionally noticed the arrival of Russia’s long-delayed Nauka science module on the ISS. That meetup didn’t go completely to plan; Nauka’s thrusters fired uncontrollably for a spell shortly after docking, inflicting your entire station to rotate about 540 degrees. ISS managers ultimately bought the scenario below management and returned the orbiting lab to its regular orientation. 

Mike Wall is the creator of “Out There” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a e-book concerning the seek for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook. 

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