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Astronauts evacuated over 'suspected ammonia leak' - but probably a false alarm says NASA

Astronauts evacuated from Russian side of ISS after ammonia suspected of leaking from its cooling system - latest information suggests the incident was caused by a sensor problem

The astronauts in the International Space Station were evacuated from the ‘Russian side’ into the American side yesterday after an increase in water loop pressure in the cooling system, indicative of an ammonia leak.

However, officials at the ISS say that furher investigation has shown no concrete evidence of a leak, suggesting the problem was with a faulty sensor.

A spokesperson for the NASA space agency, Bib Jacobs, was reported as saying that there was “no concrete data that suggests that there was in fact an ammonia leak.”

He said: “We saw an increase in water loop pressure, then later saw a cabin-pressure increase that could be indicative of an ammonia leak in the worst case scenario, so we protected for the worst case scenario and isolated the crew is the Russian segment of the space station.”

Whilst the external ammonia cooling system for the electronics on the space station have leaked before, there have been no incidents where the refrigerant has leaked into the living areas.

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