It is no secret that the International Space Station is getting old and troublesome and recently, it had to be fixed with a teabag.
The module that flies 400 kilometers above the Earth was found to be having a leak in it. It is usual for modules to lose more than 250 grams (0.6 pounds) of air each day during its 15.5 orbits around Earth but sometimes it can escalate.
The air was found to be more than the expected amount that was getting lost. In order to solve the mystery, they sealed all the modules and camped together in one of the extreme end modules of the International Space Station called Zvezda in the Russian part of the station. this continued for four days but no leak was found.
It was then discovered that it was Zvezda that was leaking. The Zvezda module, launched in 2000 is especially important on the ISS because it supports the station’s life support systems if there is an emergency.
In October 2020, Russian cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin managed to successfully improvise using a teabag. Cameras were set in the module and then the teabag was cut open with the doors sealed. In a few moments, it was observed that the tea leaves were slowly floating towards a tiny scratch on the metal wall of the space station.
It was found out that the air was escaping the space station through a crack. It was sealed on the spot using tape and foam. Later, astronauts completely sealed the hole using a drill and applying sealing paste, as per Roscosmos.
The cost of the ISS’s building was around $150 billion before launching on November 20, 1998. On follow-up costs, it takes about $3-4 billion each year to maintain the International Space Station. The crack was caused by either wearing-out or a meteor hit.