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The purpose of the incident section was to test experimental technologies for methane refueling of space vehicles, using special techniques to conserve fuel in tanks for a period of time. long periods.
The US Space Station's ISSM-3 module discharged several dozen kilograms of methane into space, Sputnik told a source in the space industry. The incident would have occurred after the electrical equipment malfunction of the section and the stop cryogenic freezing system, which keeps the methane in liquid form, thus allowing to contain it more easily.
There was no immediate threat to people aboard the ISS because the module is located outside the station's crew district. The shutters of the station were temporarily closed to prevent contamination.
The module contained about 42 kilograms of methane prior to the incident and was designed to test and determine the best way to use the ISS to refuel liquefied methane in spacecraft. The RRM-3 was also testing a technology to conserve methane in space for six months without leakage using a cryogenic freezing system.