The RRM-3 module of the American section of the International Space Station (ISS) has leaked several dozens of kilograms of methane into space, a source in the space industry told Sputnik. The incident reportedly took place after the section's electric equipment malfunctioned and the cryogenic freezing system, which keeps the methane in liquid form thereby allowing it to more easily be contained, stopped working.
There was no immediate threat those on board the ISS, as the module is located outside of the station's crew quarters. The station side-light shutters were temporarily closed to avoid contamination.
The module contained around 42 kilograms of methane prior to the incident and was designed to test and determine the optimal way of using the ISS to refuel spacecraft with liquefied methane. The RRM-3 was also testing technology for preserving methane fuel in space for half a year without leakage by using a cryogenic freezing system.