Tag Archives: leak

The rupture of a drum at a nuclear waste site in New Mexico has shut down a neutrino experiment.

The rupture of a drum at a nuclear waste site in New Mexico has shut down a neutrino experiment.

This article, from Nature, focuses on the harm done to the science experiment, which is considerable and very unfortunate. However, scroll to the end of the article to learn a little about the drum rupture, which has serious implications for the storage of nuclear waste anywhere.

SpaceX discovered a lot of water inside their Dragon capsule after splashdown.

SpaceX discovered a lot of water inside their Dragon capsule after splashdown.

This has got to be fixed. Though it does not appear that any cargo inside was damaged, this is the second time this has happened. More important, it suggests that the capsule integrity cannot yet be trusted in the vacuum of space. If water can seep in, it is just as possible for atmosphere to leak out.

Keep this in mind when you read reports about SpaceX’s unveiling of their manned version of this capsule on May 29. As much as I am supportive of this company, the worst thing anyone can do is be blind to problems such as this.

Engineers continue to struggle to find the cause of the spacesuit water leak during a spacewalk last week.

Engineers continue to struggle to find the cause of the spacesuit water leak during a spacewalk last week.

They have eliminated many possible causes, but have not found any clear culprit. The consequence right now? No EVAs with an American spacesuit can occur until they solve the problem.

Astronauts today spotted an ammonia coolant leak in ISS’s left-side power truss.

Astronauts today spotted an ammonia coolant leak in ISS’s left-side power truss.

They are monitoring it, but have so far not made any decision about what to do about it, if anything.

This problem is a perfect illustration of why a flight to Mars is more complicated in terms of engineering than first appears. We might at this time be able to build that interplanetary spaceship (with the emphasis on the word “might”) but could its passengers maintain it millions of miles from Earth? Right now I’d say no. We need to learn how to build an easily repaired and self-sufficient spaceship. ISS is neither. It is also not a very good platform for testing this kind of engineering.

Update: The astronauts on ISS are preparing for a possible spacewalk on Saturday to deal with the problem. More details here.