[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
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
The new military government has issued warnings that it will soon start to clampdown on immigration offenders.
As Snowden awaits Russian visa renewal, the world mulls role of NSA and expects more revelations from document trove.
A handful of agencies that provide tours to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea say business is growing.
A political power struggle masquerading as religious strife grips Nigeria - with mixed-faith couples paying the price.
The current surge in undocumented child migrants from Central America has galvanized US anti-immigration groups.
join our mailing list