ISS Troubles

A look at Europe at night (London and Paris) from the ISS.  Credit: Rick Mastracchio ‏@AstroRM via Twitter

A look at Europe at night (London and Paris) from the ISS. Credit: Rick Mastracchio ‏@AstroRM via Twitter

There’s a bit of a problem on the ISS involving a cooling pump system. Sounds like from the latest update below (as of this morning) it could be a valve issue. Mission control people are diagnosing the problem.

We should hear later today if the “fix” will involve a spacewalk in the immediate future. If the repair cannot be made with a spacewalk a replacement may be necessary. I don’t know if they have a spare on the shelf, and they could have, or whether a replacement will be need to be flown up.

The ISS will be getting a resupply flight from a Orbital 1 Commercial Resupply Services flight scheduled to launch on 18 December. Will the mission change to include a replacement pump if necessary if that is possible?

We will find out shortly.

This from the NASA website:

Earlier Wednesday, the pump module on one of the space station’s two external cooling loops automatically shut down when it reached pre-set temperature limits. These loops circulate ammonia outside the station to keep both internal and external equipment cool. The flight control teams worked to get the cooling loop back up and running, and they suspect a flow control valve actually inside the pump module itself might not be functioning correctly.

 

At no time was the crew or the station itself in any danger, but the ground teams did work to move certain electrical systems over to the second loop. Some non-critical systems have been powered down inside the Harmony node, the Kibo laboratory and the Columbus laboratory while the teams work to figure out what caused the valve to not function correctly and how to fix it. The crew is safe and preparing to begin a normal sleep shift while experts on the ground collect more data and consider what troubleshooting activities may be necessary.

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