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Russia Reports Increase in Space Station Air Pressure - 2004-01-13

Russian space officials say the air pressure on the International Space Station has increased, after the crew discovered the suspected cause of a slow, steady decline.

Monday, the U.S. space agency NASA said the decline in pressure was probably caused by a tiny hole in a hose, and the two-man crew will continue to conduct tests to verify the source. Meanwhile, the crew removed the hose.

The hose in question was in the U.S. laboratory module and drew air from between panes of an optical glass window to prevent condensation.

NASA says Astronaut Michael Foale and Cosmonaut Alexander Kaleri will close several hatches at the end of the week to divide the station into sections to check for further leaks and monitor air pressure.

Space officials say the leak posed no danger to the crew.

The two crewmen arrived at the space station in October for a tour of duty expected to last until late April.