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NASA Space Science

Astronauts To Repair Cooling System On ISS 57

Posted by kdawson
from the sweating-it-out dept.
GWMAW writes "NASA Astronauts will conduct a spacewalk on Thursday to repair part of the cooling system of the International Space Station. The cooling system is essential for maintaining the temperature inside the station. There are two 'loops' in the system, one that uses water and draws heat from the inside of the station, and one uses ammonia and dumps the heat into space. Ammonia is used because it freezes at a much lower temperature than water. On Saturday the pump that controls the flow of ammonia through the system shut down."
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Astronauts To Repair Cooling System On ISS

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  • The press release. (Score:4, Informative)

    by JWSmythe (446288) <.jwsmythe. .at. .jwsmythe.com.> on Wednesday August 04, 2010 @04:24AM (#33135456) Homepage Journal

    Typical Slashdot, a bit behind. This is the press release they sent out on Tuesday.

    Aug. 03, 2010

    Stephanie Schierholz
    Headquarters, Washington

    James Hartsfield
    Johnson Space Center, Houston

    MEDIA ADVISORY: M10-107

    NASA MOVES SPACE STATION REPAIR SPACEWALK TO FRIDAY, SETS BRIEFINGS

    HOUSTON -- The first of two spacewalks by NASA astronauts to replace a
    failed ammonia pump on the International Space Station has been
    delayed by 24 hours to Friday, Aug. 6. A second spacewalk is planned
    for Monday, Aug. 9, to complete the repairs.

    Flight controllers and station managers made the decision Monday night
    after reviewing proposed timelines, final procedures for the repair
    work, and the results from a spacewalk dress rehearsal conducted in
    the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory near NASA's Johnson Space Center in
    Houston.

    Expedition 24 Flight Engineers Doug Wheelock and Tracy Caldwell Dyson
    are scheduled to perform the spacewalks. The two NASA astronauts will
    replace an ammonia coolant pump that failed July 31.

    NASA Television coverage of both spacewalks will begin at 5 a.m. CDT.
    Wheelock and Caldwell Dyson are expected to begin the spacewalks from
    the Quest airlock at 5:55 a.m. Friday's spacewalk will be the fourth
    for Wheelock and Caldwell Dyson's first.

    Approximately two hours after the conclusion of each spacewalk, NASA
    TV will broadcast a briefing from Johnson. The briefing participants
    will be Mike Suffredini, International Space Station program manager;
    Courtenay McMillan, Expedition 24 spacewalk flight director; and
    David Beaver, Expedition 24 spacewalk officer.

    Reporters may ask questions from participating NASA locations, and
    should contact their preferred NASA center to confirm participation.
    Johnson will operate a telephone bridge for reporters with valid
    media credentials issued by a NASA center. Journalists planning to
    use the service must contact the Johnson newsroom at 281-483-5111 no
    later than 15 minutes prior to the start of a briefing. Phone bridge
    capacity is limited and will be available on a first-come,
    first-serve basis.

    Engineers and flight controllers continue to review data on the
    failure, which resulted in the loss of one of two cooling loops
    aboard the station. This caused a significant power down and required
    adjustments to provide the maximum redundancy possible for station
    systems. The systems are stable, and the six crew members aboard are
    not in any danger.

    Wheelock and Caldwell Dyson originally were scheduled to perform a
    spacewalk to outfit the Russian Zarya module for future robotics work
    and prepare the station for the installation of a new U.S. permanent
    multipurpose module. However, because of the importance of restoring
    redundancy to the station's cooling and power systems, the two new
    spacewalks will be dedicated to the pump module replacement.

    For NASA TV streaming video, schedules and downlink information,
    visit:

    http://www.nasa.gov/ntv [nasa.gov]

    For more information about the station and the Expedition 24 crew,
    visit:

    http://www.nasa.gov/station [nasa.gov]

    -end-

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by QuantumG (50515) *

      If this were a Russian failure they would have been out the airlock the same day. They're trained for that, in Russian they call it: .

      I think a better question is: what is NASA going to do when the ISS sized vehicle they want to go to Mars in has a similar issue? Spend a few days worrying about it and calling back to Earth then go replace it with a spare and hope the spare doesn't break? Sooner or later they're going to have to break their addiction with resupply and ground based mission control. I sa

      • If this were a Russian failure they would have been out the airlock the same day. They're trained for that

        OK, and? There's no particular need to rush, that's why they have redundant loops.

        I think a better question is: what is NASA going to do when the ISS sized vehicle they want to go to Mars in has a similar issue? Spend a few days worrying about it and calling back to Earth then go replace it with a spare and hope the spare doesn't break?

        Yep - because that's pretty much all they can do. What els

        • by QuantumG (50515) *

          I *love* the "can't do" attitude of people today.

          Learn how to live in space or go home.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by DerekLyons (302214)

            Had I said anything about "can't do", you'd have a point. And I notice you can't be bothered to either answer my questions or address my points.

            And that's because you can't do either - because all you bring to the table is attitude and slogans.

            Learn the difference between your fantasy world and the real one, or shut up.

            I've lived in an environment much like ISS, I know how it feels when one of two systems your life depends on goes down - and what can and can't be done about it. I've lived through situatio

            • by QuantumG (50515) *

              "Making the ISS self sufficient for that long is essentially impossible on two grounds: First, it wasn't designed to be so. Second, we lack the experience to know what level of spares and maintenance are required."

              If that's not a can't do attitude I don't know what is.

              Go study the Russian program someday, you'll discover what a real space program looks like. It's not "prefab everything and don't do anything in space without a 12 point plan".

              • "Making the ISS self sufficient for that long is essentially impossible on two grounds: First, it wasn't designed to be so. Second, we lack the experience to know what level of spares and maintenance are required."

                If that's not a can't do attitude I don't know what is.

                No, it's a statement of fact on par with "the sun will rise in the East tomorrow". You mistake it for a "can't do attitude" because either you lack the intelligence or the education to understand this or because you're deliberately being obtu

                • by QuantumG (50515) *

                  Wow, so you're really saying that it is *impossible* for the astronauts on the ISS to fix anything? Really? Can they even have a look at it and see what's wrong or is that impossible too?

                  Here's some raw attitude for you: fuck off.

                  • Wow, so you're really saying that it is *impossible* for the astronauts on the ISS to fix anything?

                    No, I'm saying it's essentially impossible to make it self sufficient for a year. How can you possibly get that I said it was impossible for them to fix anything from what I wrote?

                    Oh, never mind, I fully understand how you can do that now. You've abundantly and repeatedly displayed your ignorance. And now it appears that such ignorance is not willful, but that you revel in it.

                    • by QuantumG (50515) *

                      Nice use of the weasel word "essential" there.

                      I think you're essentially a self important asshole.

  • by qpawn (1507885)

    From the article: "[...] the Russian module of the system could take control for a period of time until repairs could be made."

    Take control?... Open the pod bay doors!!!

    • by rvw (755107)

      From the article: "[...] the Russian module of the system could take control for a period of time until repairs could be made."

      Take control?... Open the pod bay doors!!!

      No need for taking control, only for taking vodka! Russians use vodka in pipes, not ammonia. Much better!

    • If somebody panics and takes off in a soyuz without the helmet for their pressure suit, and the docking port is stuffed, will they be able to get back in through an air lock? I suspect not, because the flow in those airlocks is very slow and you need to flood the lock in a minute or so. I don't think its going to work.

      Also the Soviet explosive bolts leave much to be desired. You would look pretty silly with half your hatch blown off.

  • by antifoidulus (807088) on Wednesday August 04, 2010 @04:27AM (#33135472) Homepage Journal
    Couldn't they just stick a cat up in the ammonia part of the cooling system? Those fuckers produce tons of the stuff and they seem to want to distribute it around as much as possible.
  • ...CME radiation... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    ...given the current geomagnetic storms, isn't this thursday a bad time to be outside in orbit?..

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Why is loops in quotes? If the concept of a control loop is too complex/obscure for the slashdot crowd, just call it a sub-system a la Star Trek.

    • Well, there's one Slashdotter who didn't get it. They are not control loops, they are loops of coolant. When you take the output of a pump and connect it to the input, you create a loop. Fluid is circulated in a loop by the pump.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Science: Astronauts To Repair Cooling System On ISS

    When will Microsoft finally produce an internet server that doesn't need to be fixed all the time?

  • Can't they just open a window like everyone else?
  • I would wish I spoke for everyone when I say good luck fixing the colling system. I personally hope that the spacesuit doesn't come off during the walk, because, at the rate the ISS has been going with failures, that's probably what's gonna happen.
  • That is just *so* uncool.

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