The crew of the International Space Station evacuated the U.S. section on Wednesday as a precautionary measure after Mission Control saw pressure changes that raised fears of a possible ammonia leak.
All crew members were safe and had moved to the Russian side of the facility after controllers on the ground saw changes in water loop and cabin pressure that indicated the possibility of an ammonia leak, NASA said. No actual leak has been confirmed. Crew members put on emergency masks and moved to the Russian portion of the station. There is the possibility that this was a false alarm, NASA said.
NASA said the crew was safe and that it was in the process of coming up with a plan to deal with the situation. Two American astronauts, Commander Barry Wilmore and flight engineer Terry Virts, are among the six crew members currently aboard the ISS.
“The safety of the team was preserved thanks to swift actions of the cosmonauts and astronauts themselves and the team on the ground in Moscow and Houston,” said the chief of Russian mission control Maksim Matyushin.