New Chase Offers, a Hotel in Space, and Selling Off air berlin — Literally

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About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Five years ago, the Russian space program discovered that the fuel system of the MLM Nauka module, which was originally built in the 1990s as a ground spare for the first ISS module Zarya, was contaminated with sawdust. The module was already 6 years late at that time. They tried two different methods to flush out the system, but the contamination remained, causing fuel valves to leak.

    Last year, they dusted off another prototype module from the 1990s to practice a new procedure in which they cut the propellant tanks open, clean them out, and weld them back together. Unfortunately, the welded tanks of the prototype unit failed pressure tests. All of this was considered to be a better idea than starting over with non-ancient hardware.

    I’ll believe the Russians are going to launch a new module to the ISS when I see it.

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