Tag Archives: coolant pump

This news report, confirmed by no other source, claims that the spacewalk this week was cut short because of water in the astronauts’ spacesuits.

This news report, confirmed by no other source, claims that the spacewalk this week was cut short because of water in the astronauts’ spacesuits.

I report this story but am very puzzled. If a water leak was the cause of the shortened spacewalks, I would have expected others to report that fact as well. No one has, however. (See this nasaspaceflight.com article, for example, which outlines the entire engineering situation quite thoroughly but says “both suits performed well during the EVA.”) Moreover, the ABC particular story above is written by someone who is not a space reporter, and contains some incongruities that reflect that, making me even more skeptical.

Fixing the coolant pump on ISS: A close look at what will happen during the upcoming spacewalks.

Fixing the coolant pump on ISS: A close look at what will happen during the upcoming spacewalks.

According to this report, one astronaut will be wearing the spacesuit that leaked water in July. This fact contradicts a previous story that said there were two other suits on the station and that the suspect suit need not be used.

NASA engineers have decided to go ahead with a series of spacewalks to repair the ISS cooling system, thereby delaying the Cygnus cargo mission until January.

NASA engineers have decided to go ahead with a series of spacewalks to repair the ISS cooling system, thereby delaying the Cygnus cargo mission until January.

The EVAs will take place on December 21, 23 and 25 followed by a Russian Spacewalk on the 27th and a Beta-Angle Cut-out beginning on December 29. That means that the earliest launch opportunity for Cygnus is January 9, 2014 (local time) – pending the successful execution of the contingency EVAs.

Update: The Orbital Sciences press announcement says their launch can happen no earlier than January 13.

The Cygnus cargo mission to ISS has been delayed by at least one day as NASA managers struggle to deal with the station’s coolant pump failure.

The Cygnus cargo mission to ISS has been delayed by at least one day as NASA managers struggle to deal with the station’s coolant pump failure.

As noted in earlier reports, it appears they are considering a series of spacewalks to try to fix the problem.

It appears that NASA is planning to go ahead with at least one spacewalk to replace ISS’s faulty coolant system pump.

It appears that NASA is planning to go ahead with at least one spacewalk to replace ISS’s faulty coolant system pump.

After attempts from the inside to restart the malfunctioning cooling loop on the International Space Station failed last night, NASA mission managers have decided a spacewalk will be required to fix the problem, a source privy to NASA operations told TV20 News. NASA mission managers have scheduled the first spacewalk for Dec. 19th, according to the source, with two other spacewalks, also known as EVAs, likely to follow a few days after.

This story is not yet confirmed, but this AP article suggests it might be true.

If a US spacewalk on ISS is necessary to repair its cooling system, the spare parts are there, but the spacesuits are not.

If a US spacewalk on ISS is necessary to repair its cooling system, the spare parts are there, but the spacesuits are not.

Prior to retiring the shuttle NASA, aware that cargo supply would be limited once the shuttle was gone, shipped up to the station as many spare parts as possible. Thus, there are three spare pump modules on ISS that could be installed during a spacewalk to replace the module that has the valve problem.

However, because of the water leak problem that occurred in one American spacesuit during a July spacewalk, NASA has halted all American spacewalks until replacement suits can be shipped up to the station.

Since then, NASA has been conducting extensive investigations into the water leak issue, with… “the crew performed a series of tests on EMU 3011 [the faulty spacesuit] as part of an ongoing effort for returning the suit back to service. The tests included water leak checks, communication checks, and suit pressure leak checks. EMU 3011 passed all tests.”

However, NASA had been planning to wait to return another EMU, serial number 3015, to Earth aboard a SpaceX Dragon vehicle and deliver a new EMU in its place before clearing EVAs to resume. However the next Dragon vehicle is not scheduled to arrive at the ISS until at least late February next year.

The Russians might be able to do this spacewalk, but they are going to demand payment for the work. And they won’t come cheap, considering the circumstances.