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NASA Space Science

Astronauts To Repair Cooling System On ISS 57

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@jwsmy[ ].com ['the' in gap]> on Wednesday August 04, 2010 @05:24AM (#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



    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

    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,

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

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

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


  • by compro01 ( 777531 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2010 @05:50AM (#33135544)

    The storm will be over hours before they're scheduled to go out. The last one will hit around midnight CDT, and they're going out just before 6 AM.

  • Re:Open a windows (Score:3, Informative)

    by TheJokeExplainer ( 1760894 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2010 @05:58AM (#33135582)
    Dear troll, it depends on whether you are on the light side or dark side. You'd be losing your heat via your body's radiation.

    From NASA article Staying Cool on the ISS [nasa.gov]:

    Without thermal controls, the temperature of the orbiting Space Station's Sun-facing side would soar to 250 degrees F (121 C), while thermometers on the dark side would plunge to minus 250 degrees F (-157 C). There might be a comfortable spot somewhere in the middle of the Station, but searching for it wouldn't be much fun!

  • Re:Well that's nice (Score:4, Informative)

    by MichaelSmith ( 789609 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2010 @06:24AM (#33135694) Homepage Journal

    I mean everyone up there's drinking the recycled pee of their crewmates.

    As are we all. Our water supply is finite too, you know.

  • Re:Open a windows (Score:2, Informative)

    by zwarte piet ( 1023413 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2010 @06:24AM (#33135698)
    A vacuum has no temperature.
  • Re:Open a windows (Score:4, Informative)

    by geogob ( 569250 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2010 @07:29AM (#33135976)

    Dear troller troll...

    Reads almost as 'Dear tololololo'. Scary.

    You cannot loose heat in the vacuum.

    Maybe you cannot lose hear through convection but, in space, you can certainly loose heat by radiation. Deep space background is around 3K and a deep space radiative cooler is a very good and efficient way to cool something in space.

    You cannot do any thermal analysis of an object in space without taking the radiative part into account.

  • by MichaelSmith ( 789609 ) on Wednesday August 04, 2010 @06:30PM (#33144634) Homepage Journal

    An uninsulated space suit in a vacuum wouldn't feel very cold on the inside as long as the suit doesn't touch anything on the outside.

    What were the physics involved in the Apollo 13 mission when they were getting very cold after turning off the heaters in the spacecraft, using the LEM as a lifeboat?

    When it comes to using power, it is easier to heat something than to cool it. The apollo spacecraft was designed to be passively cool in the sense that it reflected enough of the sunlight striking it to need as small amount of heating from batteries to stay warm. If it had absorbed more heat from the sun it would have required active cooling which is very expensive in energy terms.

The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable. -- John Kenneth Galbraith