Feeds

ISS cooling pump refuses to come quietly

Frustrating spacewalk for NASA plumbers

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

Spacewalkers Tracy Caldwell Dyson and Doug Wheelock have spent a frustrating eight hours, three minutes* outside the International Space Station attemping to swap out the ammonia pump which failed last Saturday night and knocked out half of the station's cooling system.

Caldwell Dyson and Wheelock outside the ISS. Pic: NASA TVThe pair's EVA officially began at 11:19 GMT. The original plan was to replace the clapped-out unit on the orbiting outpost's S1 truss with a spare "oven-sized" pump stowed on an external stowage platform attached to the Quest airlock.

NASA hoped that the pair could then carry out a second EVA on Wednesday, to connect the pump's fluid and electrical lines.

However, during today's EVA, "an ammonia leak in the final line that needed to be disconnected" from the old pump prompted NASA to ask Caldwell Dyson and Wheelock to "reconnect the line on the pump module and install a spool positioning device to maintain proper pressure internal to the ammonia line".

As a result, the old pump is still in position, as NASA ponders just how to deal with the problem. It notes: "Teams on the ground are evaluating the impact of the leak on plans to replace the failed pump, as well as possible fixes for the leak. The completion of the process will most likely require at least two additional spacewalks."

The agency has updates here. ®

Bootnote

* "The longest International Space Station-based spacewalk in history and the sixth longest in human spaceflight history."

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
World Solar Challenge contender claims new speed record
One charge sees Sunswift travel 500kms at over 100 km/h
SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans
Junk in the trunk? That's what people have
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
Jurassic squawk: Dinos were Earth's early FEATHERED friends
Boffins research: Ancient dinos may all have had 'potential' fluff
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.