The International Space Station’s oxygen production system has broken down again

The International Space Station's oxygen production system has broken down again

This is not the first or even second failure of the oxygen receiving system.

On board the International Space Station (ISS), the Russian Electron-VM oxygen production system has broken down again, according to crew communications with Earth broadcast by NASA.

The system in the Zvezda module failed three times in October. Roscosmos told RIA Novosti at the time, the ISS crew, led by the Russian segment’s main operational control team, dismantled the Electron-VM and examined it for malfunctions. In December, the state corporation reported that operation of the system had been restored.

According to the talks, cosmonaut Sergei Ryzhikov reported the Electron’s emergency shutdown to the Mission Control Centre near Moscow on Saturday afternoon. He added that the failure was due to low pressure in the system and coincided with the shutdown of a hoover used for cleaning on the Russian segment of the ISS. Repeated attempts to power up the Electron were unsuccessful and experts on Earth are sorting out the problem.

Oxygen supplies are available both on the station itself and on cargo ships arriving there. In addition, the US segment of the ISS has an OGS oxygen production system in the Tranquillity module.

Russian cosmonauts Sergei Ryzhikov and Sergei Kud-Sverchkov, US astronauts Kathleen Rubins, Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker and Japanese cosmonaut Soichi Noguchi are currently working on the ISS.