[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
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
Traditional spring festival blossoms outside India through fun runs, raves and TV commercials.
Parents unable to look after children are marrying them off at a tender age, exposing them to maternal deaths.
A US outbreak of algae-produced biotoxins that attack animals'?? brains also poses a grave risk to humans.
Israel has re-arrested dozens of Palestinians in the West Bank, an act a human rights group says is 'unjustified'.
New measures needed as dozens of citizens fighting with Islamic State pose home-grown terror threat, PM Abbott says.
join our mailing list