A smoke alarm reportedly went off in Russia’s segment of the International Space Station (ISS) on Thursday.

Russia’s space agency Roscosmos and its American counterpart NASA confirmed the reports. Roscosmos reported that the incident occurred at 1:55 AM GMT, ahead of the scheduled and widely anticipated spacewalk.

Describing the incident, astronauts aboard the station explained that they smelled something burn. They then turned on a filter and cleaned up the air after which the astronauts went back to sleep.

“A smoke detector was triggered in the Zvezda service module of the Russian segment of the International Space Station during automatic battery charging, and an alarm went off,” Roscosmos said in a statement. 

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French astronaut Thomas Pesquet said “the smell of burning plastic or electronic equipment” wafted to the US segment of the station, according to Russian state news agency RIA Novosti, cited a NASA broadcast.

Russian astronauts Oleg Novitsky and Pyotr Dubrov will soon leave the station again for the second time this week to continue work on the Nauka science module, which was docked in July.

This incident has given rise to safety concerns over conditions on the Russian segment of the space station.

The Russian segment of the ISS has experienced several problems recently and a space official warned last month that out of date software could lead to “irreparable failures”

Concerned about problems arising out of ageing hardware, Russia had previously pointed towards a possibility of them leaving the International Space Station to launch their own orbital station by the year 2025.

Also read: Two NASA astronauts complete 7-hour long spacewalk

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