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Russia announces a "non-standard" air leak on the space station – Aviation Analysis Wing



Russia said on Tuesday that astronauts had detected an air leak in its section of the International Space Station, with a senior space official describing the air loss in excess of expected levels.

The International Space Station crew – Russian astronauts Anatoly Evaneshin, Ivan Wagner and astronaut Christopher Cassidy – have been searching for the air leak since August, first checking the US part.

“After analyzing and searching for the leak, it was established that the site is located in the Zvezda (Star) service unit that contains scientific equipment,” the Russian space agency Roscosmos said in a statement.

She said that research is now underfoot to determine the exact location, saying that the situation “does not pose a threat to the life and health of the International Space Station crew and does not prevent the International Space Station from continuing the manned flight.”

“It is not critical in the near future,” Sergey Krikaliov, executive director of Russian manned space programs, said in a televised comment.

He said the International Space Station always suffers from slight air loss due to its air filtration system.

“These leaks are expected. What is happening now is more than the standard leakage and of course if it lasts for a long time, it will require additional air supply to the station,” he said.

He added that the crew is resting now but hopes to find the exact location and fix the leak on Wednesday.

He added, “This is not certain,” explaining that there is a large area for research.

“We have the time. The leak is of course there. It’s not good to have it, but it’s not critical,” he said.

NASA said the size of the leak appeared to grow overnight and that flight controllers had awakened the crew for a search.

And the US space agency said it turned out later that a change in temperature made the leak appear to be growing, while the rate of air leakage was “unchanged.”

Previously, astronauts searched for the source of the leak on the American part of the station using an ultrasound detector.

This incident comes after astronauts discovered in 2018 a hole in the wall of a Russian-made Soyuz space capsule anchored on the International Space Station.

The cause of the hole has not yet been announced.

Three of the new crew members, the Russians Sergey Ryzhikov, Sergey Kud-Svershkov and NASA astronaut Kate Robins, are scheduled to arrive aboard the Russian Soyuz spacecraft scheduled for launch on October 14.

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Space travel
The International Space Station moves to avoid space debris

Washington (AFP) September 23, 2020

Astronauts on the International Space Station conducted a “avoidance maneuver” on Tuesday to ensure they did not hit a piece of debris, NASA said, and urged better management of objects in Earth’s orbit. Russian and American flight controllers worked together during a two-and-a-half-minute process to adjust the station’s orbit and move away, avoiding collision. NASA said the debris passed about 1.4 kilometers (nearly one mile) from the International Space Station. Three crew membranes … read more

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NASA finds rare metal asteroid worth more than global economy –



16 Psyche was actually discovered in 1852, but this is the first time scientists get a closer look. What makes it special is that, unlike most asteroids that are either rocky or icy, 16 Psyche is made almost entirely of iron and nickel, a study published this week in The Planetary Science Journal shows.

Tracy Becker, a planetary scientist and author of the paper, says the asteroid is likely the leftover core of a planet that never properly formed because it was hit by objects in our solar system and effectively lost its mantle and crust.

Closer look

While Hubble has been able to get clear images of 16 Psyche, only a visit to its surface will reveal what it’s really like. Fortunately, NASA already has plans to do just that as part of its Discovery Program, with an orbiter set to launch from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center in August 2022.

The mission would arrive at 16 Psyche in January 2026 and spend at least 21 months mapping and studying the asteroid’s unique properties.

“To understand what really makes up a planet and to potentially see the inside of a planet is fascinating,” says Becker, who works at the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas. “Once we get to Psyche, we’re really going to understand if that’s the case, even if it doesn’t turn out as we expect.” 

If the mission could kindly bring the asteroid back to Earth, every person on the planet — all 7.8 billion of us — would get roughly $1.2 billion, based on current metal prices.

NOW READ: Moon richer in metals than previously thought

NASA finds rare metal asteroid worth more than global economy
Artist’s-concept illustration depicts NASA’s Psyche mission spacecraft near the metal asteroid 16 Psyche. (Image courtesy of NASA.)

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Two Canadian technologies are going to the Moon – Canada NewsWire



LONGUEUIL, QC, Oct. 29, 2020 /CNW Telbec/ – The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is helping prepare Canada’s space industry for future missions to the Moon. The CSA is awarding $3.3 million in contributions to support the demonstration of two lunar technology payloads and their launch to the Moon.

This is the first time Canada will conduct a technology demonstration in lunar orbit and on the Moon’s surface. It represents a significant step in Canada’s participation in the next chapter of Moon exploration.

The demonstrations are:

  • Ontario company Canadensys Aerospace Corporation will develop, launch and test a lightweight and energy-efficient 360° camera that will capture stunning panoramic images of the lunar surface.
  • Quebec-based NGC Aerospace Ltd. will demonstrate a planetary navigation system similar to the GPS technology used on Earth. The system will use features on the surface of the Moon to guide and land a lunar vehicle safely, in a precise location.

These innovative technologies will enable new commercial opportunities and position the Canadian space industry for the future economy created by Moon exploration. The CSA will continue to support Canadian organizations by providing a wide range of opportunities for Canadian science and technology activities in lunar orbit, on the Moon’s surface, and beyond.


“In supporting the Canadian space sector, our Government is committed to the growth and career development of tomorrow’s industry leaders. Not only will this funding put Canada on the Moon, but it will also help strengthen Canada’s R&D capabilities, advance our scientific knowledge, and put Canada in a prime position for further space exploration.”

The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

Quick facts

  • Canadensys Aerospace Corporation is receiving a contribution of $2.49 million.
  • NGC Aerospace Ltd. is receiving a contribution of $840,153.
  • The two technologies will launch to the Moon by April 2024.
  • Funding for these projects stems from the CSA’s Lunar Exploration Accelerator Program (LEAP). LEAP is preparing Canada’s space sector for humanity’s return to the Moon by earmarking $150 million over five years to help small and medium-sized businesses in Canada develop new technologies to be used and tested in lunar orbit and on the Moon’s surface in fields that include artificial intelligence, robotics, and health.
  • The two contributions are the first awarded as part of the LEAP Capability Demonstration Announcement of Opportunity.


Contributions Awarded – Lunar Exploration Accelerator Program (LEAP) 
Canada’s role in lunar exploration
Space Strategy for Canada
Innovation and Skills Plan

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SOURCE Canadian Space Agency

For further information: Canadian Space Agency, Media Relations Office, Telephone: 450-926-4370, Website:, Email: [email protected]

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New coral reef taller than Eiffel Tower found off Australian coast –



Australian scientists found a detached coral reef on the Great Barrier Reef that exceeds the height of the Empire State Building and the Eiffel Tower, the Schmidt Ocean Institute said this week, the first such discovery in over 100 years.

The “blade like” reef is nearly 500 metres tall and 1.5 kilometres wide, said the institute founded by ex-Google boss Eric Schmidt and his wife, Wendy. That’s nearly as tall as the CN Tower, whose antenna reaches a height of 553 metres. 

The reef lies 40 metres below the ocean surface and about six kilometres from the edge of Great Barrier Reef.

A team of scientists from James Cook University, led by Robin Beaman, were mapping the northern sea floor of the Great Barrier Reef on board the institute’s research vessel Falkor, when they found the reef on Oct. 20. “We are surprised and elated by what we have found,” said Beaman.

He said it was the first detached reef of that size to be discovered in over 120 years and that it was thriving with a “blizzard of fish” in a healthy ecosystem.

The discovery comes after a study earlier this month found the Great Barrier Reef had lost more than half its coral in the last three decades.

WATCH | Scientists explore the huge, newly discovered reef

Australian scientists have discovered a coral reef that’s millions of years old and dwarfs the Empire State Building. 1:51

Reef explored by robot

Using the underwater robot known as SuBastian, the scientists filmed their exploration of the new reef, collecting marine samples on the way, which will be archived and placed in the Queensland Museum and the Museum of Tropical Queensland.

“To not only 3D map the reef in detail, but also visually see this discovery with SuBastian is incredible,” Beaman added.

A robotic arm takes a sample from the reef, in this still image taken from video on Oct. 25. (Schmidt Ocean Institute via REUTERS)

Although the northern section of the Great Barrier Reef suffered from bleaching in 2016, Beaman said this detached reef didn’t display any evidence of damage.

Bleaching occurs when the water is too warm, forcing coral to expel living algae and causing it to calcify and turn white.

The Great Barrier Reef runs 2,300 km (1,429 miles) down Australia’s northeast coast spanning an area half the size of Texas. It was world heritage listed in 1981 by UNESCO as the most extensive and spectacular coral reef ecosystem on the planet.

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