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The Russian oxygen regeneration system at the International Space Station has been turned off
The Russian oxygen regeneration system at the International Space Station has been turned off, as one of its blocks may need replacement, a space agency official said Wednesday. "Two days ago a temperature rise in the Elektron system caused an unpleasant odor onboard. The high temperature damaged rubber seals and the system was turned off," Alexei Krasnov, the head of the agency's piloted programs, said after the successful docking of the Soyuz TMA spacecraft with the ISS. Soyuz docked in automatic mode with the ISS and brought to the station space tourist Anousheh Ansari, 40, a U.S. citizen of Iranian origin, NASA astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin. The new Russian-U.S. crew will replace Russian cosmonaut Pavel Vinogradov and U.S. astronaut Jeffrey Williams, who have been on the station since April. He said the Elektron failure will not cause serious problems to the ISS crew as the station has three oxygen regeneration systems, including Elektron. Nikolai Sevostyanov, the head of Energia Rocket and Space Corporation, said the ISS has a reserve block for the Elektron system, and that a decision on its replacement will be made after an examination and consultations. This is not the first time the oxygen regenerating system has failed on the ISS. Williams and Vinogradov replaced a hydrogen disposal valve during their first spacewalk to ensure uninterrupted oxygen generation and the disposal of used hydrogen.
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