US, Russia eying spacewalk to fix coolant leak on ISS

The crew of the International Space Station (ISS) may soon take an unscheduled spacewalk to fix a coolant leak in its power system.

The ammonia coolant, which is currently leaking into space, is
used to dissipate heat from the station’s solar panels. Each of the
four panels has an independent coolant system, which means the
station will not be left without power if the problem persists.

NASA and its Russian counterpart Roscosmos are discussing a
possible emergency spacewalk that the US crewmembers may have to
take to fix the leak. 

“They [NASA] have a serious problem, really serious. In
situations like these we must make concessions as a partner,”
Russia’s ISS mission chief Vladimir Solovyev explained.

The problem does not pose a threat to the safety of the ISS
crewmembers, NASA assured.

The ISS had a similar problem in November, which also required
an emergency spacewalk to solve. The coolant was rerouted to a
backup loop that had been in use in the early years of ISS
development.

The loop affected this time is the same one that caused trouble
last year, but it is not yet clear whether the location of the leak
is the same.

The leak was discovered just days before the Expedition 35 crew
is scheduled to return to Earth.

This article originally appeared on : RT