The International Space Station (ISS) might have to receive a delivery of extra air after it began to leak at above-normal volumes, according to the Russian space agency.
The air leak has been localised to one section of a service module and presents no danger to the Russian and American crew on board, Roscosmos executive directer Sergei Krikalev was quoted as saying by Russian media.
The crew were said to be planning to eliminate the leak in the coming days.
NASA had earlier revealed how the crew on board the ISS were woken up by flight controllers to continue troubleshooting a small leak that appeared to grow in size.
NASA astronaut and station commander Chris Cassidy and Roscosmos cosmonauts Antoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner were asked to collect data using an ultrasonic leak detector.
NASA’s Kenny Todd, the deputy manager of the ISS, said on Tuesday: “As far as the station goes, we’re in very good shape.
“The only the only issue that I would would bring up at this point is this little atmosphere leak that’s proven to be a bit challenging over the last couple of months.
“But for those of you that follow the station on orbit operations regularly, you’ll know that we’ve been dealing with a small atmospheric leak over the last… well… really over a year.”
He added: “We decided to go ahead and wake the crew up. We went through a several hour activity and we think we got, again, some more data.
“We got a finer point on where we think the leak is module wise. We, at this point, think it’s in the Russian segment, in the service module area. Again, we’re continuing to look at all the data from the test.
“But what we do know and have confirmed with our Russian colleagues that we think there’s something going on there.”
NASA said in a statement: “The size of the leak identified overnight has since been attributed to a temporary temperature change aboard the station with the overall rate of leak remaining unchanged.”
“The leak, which has been investigated for several weeks, poses no immediate danger to the crew at the current leak rate and only a slight deviation to the crew’s schedule,” the statement added.
NASA said, once the overnight checks were completed, the crew once again opened hatches between the US and Russian segments and “resumed regular activities”.
At the weekend, an uncrewed cargo craft is due to arrive at the ISS.
The next three residents of the ISS – due to take part in what would be the 64th mission to the ISS since its launch in 1998 – are scheduled to leave Earth on 14 October.