BEIJING, April 13, Xinhua (CNN) -- According to Russian Satellite Network, sources in the field of space rockets disclosed that the RRM-3 module of the robot fuel filling mission in the experimental stage had malfunction, and a methane leak accident occurred outside the U.S. capsule of the International Space Station, which emitted about tens of kilograms of liquid methane.
NASA transported the Robot Fuel Filling Mission Module (RRM-3) to the International Space Station in December 2018 using the Dragon cargo spacecraft and installed it on the external platform of the International Space Station.
It is reported that the robotic fuel refueling mission module is used to carry out experiments of adding liquid methane in space and storing liquid methane for six months. There are two tanks in the module. One is empty and the other is filled with 42 kilograms of liquid methane. Refrigerant service tools control storage tanks from leakage accidents.
Sources said: Not long ago, the electronic components of the robotic fuel filling task module malfunctioned, resulting in the failure of refrigerant service tools. Eventually, the temperature of liquid methane in the storage tank runs out of control and leaks, resulting in a total of about tens of kilograms of liquid methane being ejected.
He pointed out that the methane leak did not pose a threat to astronauts because the robotic fuel filling mission module was located on an external platform. In case of contamination, the portholes of the International Space Station are closed.
Source: Chi Guojie_NBJ11143, Responsible Editor of CNN