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Crew to continue ‘needle in a haystack’ hunt for active leak causing minor ISS depressurization

This weekend, the crew of Expedition 63 aboard the ISS will continue investigating a “small leak” on the International Space Station. While the ISS is not airtight and the leak was identified months ago, the leak rate has slightly increased and caused some alarms to trigger.

American and Russian crewmates previously shared one half of the space station in an attempt to track down the leak. The current theory is that the leak is on the Russian half of the ISS, but pinpointing the source of the problem has proved challenging thus far.

After analysis, the leak traced back to the main work area of the Zvezda Service Module, although determining the exact location of the leak will require more work. This leak poses no immediate danger and has been on the radar for the crew and NASA for several weeks and has only resulted in a minor inconvenience to the day-to-day schedule. Expand

Space Force selects ULA and SpaceX for phase 2 launch service contracts

In a widely anticipated announcement, U.S. Space Force and Air Force officials awarded Phase II of U.S. national security missions launch contracts to ULA and SpaceX as the primary launch providers through 2027. The NSSL (National Security Space Launch) Contract is a firm-fixed-price that will support launches planned from fiscal 2022 – fiscal 2027.

These contracts include early integration studies, launch service support, fleet surveillance, launch vehicle production, mission integration, mission launch operations, mission assurance, spaceflight worthiness, and mission unique activities for each mission.

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Corona structures on Venus point to widespread volcanic activity, need for further exploration

Venus, our neighboring planet of 25 million miles on its closest approach, is full of surprises. Having a similar mass, size, and proximity to the Sun, it’s often referred to as Earth’s “Sister Planet.” However, the terrain and atmosphere are vastly different, having 92 times the atmospheric pressure of that present on Earth, large slab-like rocks, and mountain-like structures throughout the planet.

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