NASA has found a leak in the International Space Station “caused by a meteorite” which its crew is fixing it with rags and rubbish.
Astronauts scrambled to patch the hole in a Russian capsule that was allowing air to leak from it.
It was detected on Wednesday night, possibly from a micrometeorite strike when it caused a small drop in cabin pressure.
It was traced to a hole about 2 millimetres across in a capsule docked at the space station.
The Russian crew taped over the hole, slowing the leak before two spacemen put sealant on a cloth and stuck it over the area.
Their colleagues took photos for engineers on the ground.
Flight controllers monitored the cabin pressure while working to come up with a better long-term solution.
Mission Control outside Moscow told the astronauts to let the sealant dry overnight and that more leak checks would be conducted Friday.
The makeshift repairs seem to have stabilized the situation, at least for now, officials said.
Nasa and Russian space officials stressed the six astronauts were in no danger.
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A Nasa spokesman said it was premature to speculate on whether they might have to return to Earth early if the leak, even as small as it is, cannot be stopped.
The hole is located a part of the craft which does not return to Earth, according to Nasa.
The 250-mile-high outpost is home to three Americans, two Russians and one German. Orbital debris is a constant threat, even the tiniest specks.
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