Skip to comments.Space Station Leaking Vital (chilled liquid ammonia) Coolant, NASA Says
Posted on 05/09/2013 6:23:28 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
Astronauts on the International Space Station have discovered a leak of ammonia coolant on their orbiting habitat, and NASA is looking into the problem, though it poses no immediate danger to the crew, officials said today (May 9).
The space station uses chilled liquid ammonia to cool down the power systems on its eight giant solar array panels. A minor leak of this ammonia was first noticed in 2007, and NASA has been studying the issue ever since. In November 2012 two astronauts took a spacewalk to fix the problem, rewiring some coolant lines and installing a spare radiator due to fears the original radiator was damaged by a micrometeorite impact.
At the time, those measures appeared to fix the problem, but today astronauts on the football field-size space station noticed a steady stream of frozen ammonia flakes leaking from the area of the suspect coolant loop in the Photovoltaic Thermal Control System (PVTCS). [Gallery: Building the International Space Station]
"It is in the same area, but we don't know whether it's the same leak," NASA spokesman Kelly Humphries of the Johnson Space Center in Houston told SPACE.com. Humphries said the agency was taking the leak seriously because it affects an important system if they loose the ability to cool that particular solar array, it won't be able to generate power for the station. In fact, the leak has worsened to the point that Mission Control expects that particular loop to shut down within the next 24 hours.
However, "the crew is in no danger," Humphries stressed. It's too soon to speculate on a possible spacewalk or other measure to deal with the issue, he added.
Mission Control has been discussing the problem with the astronauts on the station throughout the afternoon.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
nothing to see, the occupants are fine and in no danger..
maybe NASA just needs a little Muslim Outreach to reach up there and fix it?
Arrrrggh! We’re polluting outer space! We’re all gonna freeze to death while we ignite in ammonia flames! /sarc
Government in action.
Call the new Transportation Secretary to build a trolley to the Space Station. ;-)
Coolant lines are now wire. Who knew?
Journalists are idiots.
Just imagine when this kind of problem pops up for the “one way ticket to Mars” settlement.
Hell yah. I’m fixing to plumb in my new road lights on my rock crawler, just have to find the right fittings. Sure hope they aren’t metric.
First thing I noticed too....lol.
Chris Hadfield twitter page. He’s back to posting pictures.
Well, it could be worse. If they were leaking Freon 21 the EPA would drive up there and shut them down for polluting!
My son has one of those Jeep rock crawlers. His is a bright orange, so he calls it The Great Pumpkin. 36 inch wheels on that sucker!
Just send a repair crew and parts up on the next shuttle.
They should just use an astronaut “depends.” :-)
We need a space hazmat team. If we let R12 or 134a or anything like that out in the air we get arrested.
2007? LOL. If you discover a slow leak in a tire on your riding lawnmower, I could understand putting it off for 6 years, but it seems that fixing this leak might have been a wee bit more important.
Obama would never leave behind an American in harms way, so we know not to worry. Besides, Obama’s Muslim NASA will figure it all out. Heck, we would have never made it to the Moon without all of those Ali Baba wizards.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.