[QODLink]
Americas

Leak found in space station cooling system

Ammonia flakes were seen floating away from an area of the space station's P6 truss structure on Thursday.

Last Modified: 10 May 2013 17:23
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
It was not clear on Friday whether leak was related to previous leak in late 2012 [AFP PHOTO/NASA]

International Space Station has a radiator leak in its power system, but no crew members are in danger and the station is operating normally, the US space agency NASA said on its website.

Crew members at the orbital outpost spotted white flakes of ammonia floating away from the space station at about 1330 GMT on Thursday, NASA said, and fixing the leak might require that a portion of the station's cooling system be shut down for about 48 hours.

"The station continues to operate normally otherwise and the crew is in no danger," it said.

In an audio exchange posted on the agency's website, Commander Chris Hadfield, who is Canadian, said he could see "a very steady stream of flakes or bits" coming from the area of one of several cooling loops.

Officials said the leak appeared to be getting worse.

The ammonia flakes were seen floating away from an area of the space station's P6 truss structure, the agency said. It was not clear whether it was related to a previous leak in late 2012.

Ammonia is used to cool the equipment that provides power to the station's systems, NASA said. Each array of solar battery cells has its own cooling loop.

The space station, which is staffed by rotating crews of six astronauts and cosmonauts, is a $100 billion research outpost owned by the United States and Russia in partnership with Europe, Japan and Canada.

237

Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeera’s new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Featured
Private citizens take initiative to help 'irregular' migrants, accusing governments of excessive focus on security.
Indonesia's cassava plantations are being killed by mealybugs, and thousands of wasps have been released to stop them.
Violence in Ain al-Arab has prompted many Kurdish Syrians to flee to Turkey, but others are returning to battle ISIL.
Unelected representatives quietly iron out logistics of massive TPP and TTIP deals among US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
Led by students concerned for their future with 'nothing to lose', it remains to be seen who will blink first.