04:34 GMT26 November 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The smell of isopropyl alcohol on the International Space Station (ISS) that appeared after the arrival of US unmanned spacecraft Crew Dragon last week, has started to dissipate since the demo capsule undocked from the station, a source in the Russian rocket and space industry told Sputnik.

    "Samples of air in the station's atmosphere, taken after the Dragon 2 [Crew Dragon] spacecraft undocked [from the ISS], have shown that the isopropyl alcohol concentration has started to fall, which proves the theory that the Dragon 2 spacecraft itself was the source of increased [isopropyl] concentration", the source said.

    The source added that air purification systems were still on at the ISS.

    Another source in the industry told Sputnik on 5 March that air analysers had recorded a high concentration of isopropyl in the air circulating within the ISS soon after the Crew Dragon docked with it on 3 March. After the ISS crew turned on air purification systems, the isopropyl concentration dropped from 6 milligrams per cubic meter to 2 milligrams. Before the Crew Dragon arrived, the isopropyl concentration had not exceeded 0.1 milligrams per cubic meter.

    However, a different source in the industry told Sputnik earlier in the week that the high concentration of isopropyl initially registered did not pose a threat to the crew members' health but might have a negative impact on the station's equipment.

    READ MORE: US Unmanned Spacecraft Dragon 2 Undocks From International Space Station — NASA

    The Crew Dragon left the station and successfully returned to Earth on 8 March.

    Isopropyl alcohol is a colourless liquid with a strong smell, used in cosmetics, household chemicals, perfumes and medicine as a sanitizing agent. Prolonged contact with increased concentrations of isopropyl alcohol fumes may provoke headaches along with eye and respiratory irritation.

    The current ISS crew is comprised of Russian cosmonaut and Commander Oleg Kononenko, Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques, and US astronaut Anne McClain.


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