A smoke and fire alarm went off in a Russian service module on the International Space Station (ISS) creating panic, the Russian space agency Roscosmos said on Thursday. As per reports, smoke detector and an alarm were set off on the Zvezda service module, which provides living quarters for crew members on the ISS, when batteries were being recharged overnight. While Russian news agencies reported that cosmonauts smelled burning plastic.
The Cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov conducted a spacewalk outside the ISS at 10:51am ET for seven hours after a smoke alarm went off in their part to prepare the new Nauka Multipurpose Laboratory Module for operations. The problems began early on Thursday and seems to have been overcome with the team returning to rest.
According to a NASA broadcast, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Novitsky had seen and smelled smoke and that French astronaut Thomas Pesquet said the smell of burnt plastic or electronics had spread from the Russian segment to the US section.
The crew activated air filters and returned to their “night rest” once the air quality was back to normal, according to Roscosmos.
The incident, which NASA declared a 'space emergency,' is the latest in a string of problems to spur safety concerns over conditions on the Russian segment.