Russian cosmonauts found cracks in the Zarya module on the International Space Station (ISS). They are worried that the fissures might spread over time. A senior space official reported this Monday, August 30.
According to Reuters, Vladimir Solovyov (chief engineer at rocket and space company Energia) stated that "superficial fissures were found in certain places on the Zarya Module."
"This is a bad sign and indicates that fissures will spread over time."
NASA claims that the Zarya module (also known as the Functional Cargo Block) was the first component to be launched into orbit by the ISS. It was launched on Nov. 20, 1998.
According to Reuters, Solovyov stated recently that the ISS is starting to show its age. He also warned of an "avalanche” of equipment failures after 2025.
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These cracks have emerged in the wake of several incidents that occurred on the ISS. Space.com reported that Russian cosmonauts had sealed two cracks approximately as large as human hairs in March's Zvezda module.
The Zvezda module houses two cosmonauts. It also supports the station's life support system and backup life support systems in America.
These tiny cracks were believed to be the source for an air leak, which NASA and Roscosmos Russia had been looking into for several months.
Space.com reports that in August, the Russian research module Nauka's jet thrusters unexpectedly fired, pushing the station to the side.
Hours earlier, the module had docked at the station. When the thrusters suddenly failed to fire, Nauka tried to pull away, pulling the ISS along with it.
According to Reuters, Russian officials claimed that the incident was caused by a software bug and a human error.
Reuters has more information about the cracks in Zarya's module.
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