Astronauts plug space station hole with finger

Astronauts on the International Space Station fixed a hole in its outer wall. The ISS is a large satellite that scientists live in to do scientific experiments. It was first put into space in 1998. Last week, NASA told ISS astronauts that the station was slowly leaking air. Six astronauts started looking for the leak. Astronaut Alexander Gerst found it. He quickly used a simple and effective way of stopping the leak – he put his finger over the hole. Luckily, the hole was only two millimeters wide. It was not a major emergency, but it did need fixing.

The hole was in a Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft. NASA said a small piece of space junk or a small meteorite may have hit it. The ISS travels at around 28,000 kph, so a tiny object hitting it can cause a lot of damage. Flight controllers in the USA and Russia worked with the crew to fix the hole. Cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev used a "space repair kit" to do the job – some "space tape" and a special glue. A NASA official said the crew on the ISS are safe after the repair. He said: "The crew are healthy and safe with weeks of air left in the International Space Station reserves."