Smoke and fire alarms go off on International Space Station

Crew in Russian segment report smoke and smell of burnt plastic possibly linked to battery recharge

The International Space Station
The International Space Station, where two Russian astronauts are scheduled to carry out a six-hour-long space walk. Photograph: Reuters

Associated Press in MoscowThu 9 Sep 2021 10.54 BST

Fire and smoke alarms went off at the Russian segment of the International Space Station in the early hours of Thursday, and the crew reported noticing smoke and the smell of burnt plastic.

Russia’s space agency, Roscosmos, said the incident took place in the Russian-built Zvezda module and occurred as the station’s batteries were being recharged.

According to Roscosmos, the crew activated air filters and returned to their “night rest” once the air quality was back to normal. The crew would proceed with a space walk scheduled for Thursday as planned, the agency noted.

The space station is currently operated by the Nasa astronauts Mark Vande Hei, Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur; Oleg Novitsky and Pyotr Dubrov of Roscosmos; the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Akihiko Hoshide; and the European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet.

Novitsky and Dubrov are scheduled to carry out a six-hour-long space walk on Thursday to continue integrating the Russian-built Nauka science lab that docked with the space station in July. Shortly after docking, the lab briefly knocked the orbital outpost out of position by accidentally firing its engines – an incident Russian space officials blamed on a software failure.

(C)THE GUARDIAN 2021

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