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Astronauts return after space scare

Astronauts returned to the American side of the International Space Station after a scare.

Early today, the crew fled to the Russian segment after an alarm indicated a possible toxic leak.

But Nasa later said there was no leak of the ammonia coolant and a computer problem likely set off the false alarm.

Later the astronauts returned to the US side.

When the alarms went off, the crew followed emergency procedures - slapping on oxygen masks, taking cover in the Russian quarters, then sealing the hatches between the US and Russian sides.

At the same time, flight controllers at Nasa's Johnson Space Centre in Houston turned off non-essential equipment.

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This November 2014 image made from a frame grabbed from NASA-TV, shows Expedition 42 crew members, front row from left, Anton Shkaplerov, Samantha Cristoforetti and Terry Virts, and back row from left, Elena Serova, Commander Barry Wilmore and Alexander Samokutyaev, while on the International Space Station in the Zvezda service module during a traditional crew greeting ceremony with family and mission officials on the ground.  (AP Photo/NASA-TV)

This November 2014 image made from a frame grabbed from NASA-TV, shows Expedition 42 crew members, front row from left, Anton Shkaplerov, Samantha Cristoforetti and Terry Virts, and back row from left, Elena Serova, Commander Barry Wilmore and Alexander Samokutyaev, while on the International Space Station in the Zvezda service module during a traditional crew greeting ceremony with family and mission officials on the ground. (AP Photo/NASA-TV)

AP

Expedition 42 crew members open the U.S. segment hatch and return to sample the air after evacuating to the Russian side of the International Space Station following an alarm over a possible ammonia leak. Reuters/NASA/Handout via Reuters

Expedition 42 crew members open the U.S. segment hatch and return to sample the air after evacuating to the Russian side of the International Space Station following an alarm over a possible ammonia leak. Reuters/NASA/Handout via Reuters

REUTERS

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This November 2014 image made from a frame grabbed from NASA-TV, shows Expedition 42 crew members, front row from left, Anton Shkaplerov, Samantha Cristoforetti and Terry Virts, and back row from left, Elena Serova, Commander Barry Wilmore and Alexander Samokutyaev, while on the International Space Station in the Zvezda service module during a traditional crew greeting ceremony with family and mission officials on the ground. (AP Photo/NASA-TV)

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