[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
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Mehdi Hasan discusses online freedoms and the potential of the web with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
A tight race seems likely as 814 million voters elect leaders in world's largest democracy next week.
Featured
Since independence, Zimbabwe has faced food shortages, hyperinflation - and several political crises.
After a sit-in protest at Poland's parliament, lawmakers are set to raise government aid to carers of disabled youth.
A vocal minority in Ukraine's east wants to join Russia, and Kiev has so far been unable to put down the separatists.
Iran's government has shifted its take on 'brain drain' but is the change enough to reverse the flow?
Deadly attacks on anti-mining activists in the Philippines part of a global trend, according to new report.
join our mailing list