Russian Federation to end United States space station rides in April, pressuring NASA

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The six crew members on board the International Space Station awoke to some news you never want to hear when you're hurtling through space at almost 30,000 km/h - while they slept, NASA controllers on the ground had detected a small leak in part of the station, as air slowly vented into space.

Checks determined the leak was coming from the Russian side of the orbital outpost, NASA said in a news release.

NASA confirmed the problem, saying it consisted of a "minute pressure leak" and that the crew was repairing it.

"Flight controllers at their respective Mission Control centers in Houston and Moscow worked together with the crew to effect a fix option in which Soyuz commander Sergey Prokopyev of Roscosmos used epoxy (a resin) on a gauze wipe to plug the hole identified as the leak source".

The Soyuz MS-09 will not be used to bring back astronauts from the ISS, so any other damages to the spacecraft will not be endangering their lives.

On Wednesday at 23:00 UTC (19:00 EDT), flight controllers began to notice a tiny pressure leak in the ISS.

The European Space Agency reported crew members are in no danger, as there are weeks of air left in the ISS reserves.

The air leak was the result of a hole in a Soyuz aircraft attached to the Russian segment of the ISS.

Since the new vehicle NASA to send crew are still at the development stage, the U.S. can remain without direct access to the ISS.

The Soyuz spacecraft is one of three spaceships now docked at the space station.

It wasn't long before the astronauts had a better idea, and patched the hole with some epoxy and - you guessed it - duct tape.

It will also take them home in December, and serves as a lifeboat in case of an emergency.

Three ISS crewmembers are due to use that same Soyuz vehicle to return to Earth at the end of the year.

Impacts from tiny meteoroids are a permanent threat to the orbiting platform and it was built to withstand the constant bombardment from the dusty fragments that whizz about above the Earth.