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US Astronauts Have 15 Minutes to Evacuate to Russian Part of ISS If NH3 Leaks

© NASA . handoutISS astronauts adjust truss above New Zealand
ISS astronauts adjust truss above New Zealand - Sputnik International
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russian Rocket and Space Corporation (RSC) Energia has developed a system to purify air at the International Space Station (ISS) in the event of ammonia (NH3) leakage due to a possible decompression of the US thermal control system.

"In the event of a depressurization of the heat exchanger between the external and internal circuits… the US crew can be saved with a fairly quick evacuation to the service module of the Russian segment of the ISS (about 10-15 minutes)," the corporation's experts said in an article published in the Space Engineering and Technologies magazine.

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It is noted that the filtration system, consisting of the AFOT-M microcompressor and the FTD-A ammonia filter, was developed by RSC Energia under a contract with NASA.

According to the experts, the system will be able to clear the entire volume of the Russian segment of the station except for the Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM, scheduled for launch in 2020) in just over eight hours.

The developers say that in the case of depressurization of the heat exchanger in the US segment, a mixture of water with ammonia will leak into the station's atmosphere, and the concentration of the substance in it will reach 28,000 milligrams per cubic meter, which is 40-80 times more than the critical value for humans.

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