US ISS Crew to Return Soon to US Side Following Likely False Alarm: NASA

© NASAInternational Space Station (ISS)
International Space Station (ISS) - Sputnik International
NASA announced that the US astronauts are expected to return to the US segment of the International Space Station this evening or tomorrow.

WASHINGTON, January 14 (Sputnik) — An ammonia leak warning in the US segment of the International Space Station (ISS) that forced US astronauts to the Russian side is likely a false alarm, NASA told Sputnik Wednesday afternoon, saying the astronauts are expected to return to the US side this evening or tomorrow.

International Space Station (ISS) - Sputnik International
Reason for Amonia Leak Alert on ISS Unknown, Data Being Analyzed: NASA
“Flight controllers are double and triple checking everything before they give the go ahead for the crew to go back into the US segment to open everything back up, but are expected to be back to normal either tonight or tomorrow (EST),” the spokesperson at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston Dan Huot said.

NASA said the likely culprit was a computer error in one of the sensors that caused the alarm to go off.

At around 4 AM EST alarms went off in the US segment of the ISS indicating an ammonia leak. NASA detected a rise in pressure in one of the water loops which makes up one of two ammonia coolant loops as well as a rise of pressure in the cabin. The indicators signaled there was an ammonia leak and the space agency directed the three-person US crew to follow emergency procedures and go to the Russia side of the ISS, NASA explained.

The current ISS crew comprises six specialists from the United States, Russia and the European Union. It includes mission commander Barry Wilmore and flight engineer Terry Virts from NASA; flight engineers Elena Serova, Alexander Samokutyaev and Anton Shkaplerov from Roscosmos; and flight engineer Samantha Cristoforetti from the European Space Agency.


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