Cooling Pump Fails on International Space Station

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NASA had to shut down some non-critical systems on the International Space Station on Wednesday after one of two cooling pumps failed, NASA confirmed.


Carrying supplies and equipment in 2001, Leonardo is the first Multipurpose Logistics Module. (Credit: NASA)

According to a statement on NASA’s website, the pump module on one of the space station’s two external cooling loops automatically shut down when it reached pre-set temperature limits.

The loops circulate ammonia outside the station to keep both internal and external equipment cool, the statement read.

“The pump was brought back online, but they think a valve may not be working correctly inside it,” the Johnson Space Center tweeted.

NASA was quick to point out that the space station’s life support system was still up and running and that at no time was the crew in danger.

Ground crews were working to  determine what troubleshooting activities may be necessary, NASA said, including a possible spacewalk.

The current mission of the space station, officially called Expedition 38, was scheduled to fly until March 2014.

The six-person crew includes astronauts Mike Hopkins and Rick Mastracchio of the United States; Russians Mikhail Tyurin, Sergey Ryazanskiy and Oleg Kotov; and Koichi Wakata of Japan.

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