Nasa confirms 'serious' leak from International Space Station but says crew are safe

Nasa said in a bulletin on its website that while the rate of ammonia leaking from the section of the cooling system has increased the crew were in no danger

Nasa has insisted that the crew of the International Space Station are safe despite a radiator leak in its power system.

The six-member crew of the space station, which is in orbit 370 km above the earth, reported seeing small white flakes floating away from an area outside the craft yesterday.

Mission Control used external cameras along with images captured by crew members to narrow down the leak’s location. 

Nasa said in a bulletin on its website that while the rate of ammonia leaking from the section of the cooling system has increased the crew were in no danger.

Ammonia runs through multiple radiator loops to cool the station's power system.

NASA said the leak is increasing from one previously leaking loop that can be bypassed if needed.

NASA spokesman Bob Jacobs said engineers are working on rerouting electronics just in case the loop shuts down. The Earth-orbiting station has backup systems.

Space station Commander Chris Hadfield, who has become an internet sensation after tweeting images from space, tweeted that the problem, while serious, was stabilized. Officials will know more today.

The space station always has enough emergency escape ships for the crew, but there are no plans to use them.

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