In this image made from video provided by NASA, cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev flings a Sirius nano-satellite into orbit from the International Space Station. Picture: NASA via AP

Washington - Flight controllers on Earth have detected a small air leak on the International Space Station, NASA said on Thursday.

The "minute pressure leak" was discovered on Wednesday night, eastern US time, by teams in Moscow and Houston, Texas.

The controllers did not feel the leak represented a danger to the crew, who were sleeping at the time. The crew members were alerted to the problem after they awoke.

The astronauts have determined that the leak appears to be on the Russian side of the orbital outpost.

The International Space Station, centre, passes in front of the Moon in its Earth orbit as photographed from Salgotarjan, Hungary. Picture: Peter Komka/MTI via AP

Earth as seen from the International Space Station. Many astronauts have spoken of the ‘overview effect’ and how seeing the planet from space can change their perspective. Picture: Scott Kelly/NASA

"The leak has been identified and repair procedures are ongoing," the European Space Agency said.

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