Smoke on space station traced to water heater

June 11, 2014 by Marcia Dunn
International Space Station. Credits: ESA

A galley water heater is being blamed for smoke aboard the International Space Station.

Russian astronauts reported smoke and a burning smell in their main compartment Tuesday. There wasn't enough smoke to activate the alarms or to warrant the use of masks by the six-man crew. The smoke came from a vent and dissipated within a half-hour or so.

Commander Steven Swanson says there was only a small amount of smoke and everyone was fine.

The astronauts quickly disconnected the electric water-heating unit and activated in the Zvezda (zuh-VEZ-duh) compartment, Russian for star.

On Wednesday, the astronauts installed a spare unit. NASA says it's working normally.

A similar problem occurred in 2009.

The astronauts say they didn't see anything unusual with the removed device.

Explore further: Space station awaits for Russian craft after delay

More information: NASA:

Related Stories

Three astronauts land back on Earth in Soyuz capsule

May 14, 2014

Three astronauts, including a Russian and an American, touched down safely on Earth Wednesday aboard a Soyuz capsule, the first such landing since Russia's relationship with the West slumped amid the Ukraine crisis.

Russian, German and US astronauts dock with ISS

May 29, 2014

A crew of Russian, German and US astronauts docked with the International Space Station Thursday as space cooperation between Moscow and the West continues despite their worst standoff since the Cold War.

Recommended for you

Hotspots in an active galactic nucleus

October 24, 2016

The nucleus of a so-called "active" galaxy contains a massive black hole that is vigorously accreting material. As a result, the nucleus often ejects bipolar jets of rapidly moving charged particles that radiate brightly ...

Kepler has caught hundreds of asteroids

October 24, 2016

Previously, the Kepler space telescope looked straight out from the solar system in a direction almost perpendicular to the ecliptic and the plane of the planets. This way, it could observe the same spot all year long, as ...

Uranus may have two undiscovered moons

October 24, 2016

NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft flew by Uranus 30 years ago, but researchers are still making discoveries from the data it gathered then. A new study led by University of Idaho researchers suggests there could be two tiny, previously ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.