David Kirkpatrick

August 9, 2010

ISS cooling system problem proving vexing

Filed under: Science — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 6:01 pm

Looks like the International Space Station crew will have to undertake a third spacewalk to attempt to repair the faulty cooling system. Best of luck to current batch of space travelers, this is a challenging issue.

From the link:

Despite making one of the longest spacewalks ever, Douglas Wheelock and Tracy Caldwell Dyson had to give up trying to remove a broken ammonia pump and retreat inside.

Disappointed managers said two more spacewalks now will be needed to replace the pump and get the International Space Station’s cooling system operating normally again. The original plan called for two spacewalks.

Another  won’t be attempted until Wednesday at the earliest. Engineers huddled following Saturday’s eight-hour, three-minute effort – the sixth longest spacewalk ever – to consider their options.

“We will get through this problem,” said space station program manager Mike Suffredini. “The challenge is to get through this problem before the next problem hits the other cooling system.”

The pump failure knocked out half of the space station’s cooling system last weekend, leaving the orbiting lab with only one good cooling loop. Another breakdown could leave the station in a precarious situation.

In this image taken from video and made available by NASA astronaut Doug Wheelock, foreground begins the first of two spacewalks to replace a broken ammonia pump Saturday Aug. 7, 2010. (AP Photo/NASA)

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