How astronauts used a teabag to save $ 150 billion worth of space station

The International Space Station is a potential hazard due to many reasons, as its age is one of the most important factors. In 2020, astronauts used a tea bag to avert a major disaster on the space station by fixing a hole in one of the modules.

After a leak was found in one of the modules on the International Space Station, which normally flies 400 kilometers above the ground, astronauts were left in a solution to find a quick solution if things were to escalate..

Normally, the space station leaks air from some of the modules throughout its journey in Earth’s orbit, which takes 93 minutes per second. Lane. Every day, the station loses more than 250 grams of air every day during its 15.5 orbits around the Earth, but this is not always the case, which is evident in the event of this leakage..

International Room StationNASA

How astronauts discovered the leak on the ISS

Over the days, the station began to lose more than a pound each day. Astronauts from different countries – USA, Japan, Russia, Canada and Europe are usually on board the station. When the leak occurred, they were forced to look for its source in the station.

To determine its source, they sealed all the modules and camped together in one of the extreme modules of the International Space Station called Zvezda in the Russian part of the station.

Te poseUplash

Also read: Is the ISS dying? Former NASA astronaut says cracks on space station are serious

For this purpose, they tested each section of the space station for leaks over four days. Unfortunately, their experiment bore no fruit.

The astronauts then realized that the model they were temporarily waiting for was the one that leaked. The Zvezda module, launched in 2000, is particularly important on the ISS because it supports the station’s life support systems in the event of an emergency on the space station.

The tea bag is coming in!

In October 2020, Russian cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin saved the day using a tea bag. After setting up a pair of cameras in the Zvezda module, the cosmonaut opened the teabag and closed the doors. Not much later, they witnessed the tea leaves slowly float against a small scratch on the space station of the metal station.

It was no scratches, it turns out! The astronauts found it to be a crack through which the air escaped the space station, which was sealed on the spot using tape and foam. Later, astronauts closed the hole completely using a drill and applied sealing paste according to Roscosmos.

International Room StationNASA

Also read: Cracks found in the International Space Station: Are astronauts safe?

The International Space Station is an expensive affair. It was built at a cost of up to $ 150 billion before it was launched on November 20, 1998. At follow-up costs, it takes about $ 3-4 billion each year to maintain the International Space Station. The cracks in the station were caused by metal fatigue or small meteorites.

What do you think of this ingenious fix from astronauts aboard the International Space Station? Let us know in the comments below. For the latest in science and technology, keep reading


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