Shortly before the planned return to Earth of three crew members of the International Space Station has a “very serious problem”: A cooling system needs to be repaired – from the outside
Two astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) were preparing for an outdoor use on Saturday to fix a leak in the cooling system. This gave the U.S. space agency NASA on Friday to reporters in Houston (Texas) unknown. “We send two crew members in fabric and rubber pressure suits through the airlock,” the Canadian ISS Commander Chris Hadfield wrote on Twitter.
Previously had become known that the ISS ammonia from escaping into space. The toxic gas is used for cooling an electric circuit to the human outpost in around 410 kilometers altitude. “The system could have been damaged by micrometeorites or a piece of space debris,” said ISS manager Mike Suffredini. Rarely outside bets have been scheduled in such a short space. But the crew trying to locate the leak before more ammonia it depart from the system. “We are talking about a very, very small hole,” said Suffredini.
it were a “very serious” problem, the competent Russian expert Vladimir Solovyov told Interfax news agency. But crew and station were not in danger, NASA. “The whole team worked like clockwork, preparing for tomorrow. I am so proud to be commander of the crew. Such great, capable, funny people,” Hadfield wrote.
From Russian space sources said that a postponement of the planned shortly return of three crew members was possible. Except Hadfield, Chris Cassidy and Tom Marshburn are currently working the Russian cosmonaut Roman Romanenko, Pavel Vinogradov and Alexander Missurkin in the ISS.
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