Flickr Creative Commons
Hide Caption

NASA: Cooling pump on space station shuts down

a a a a
Share this story

WASHINGTON (AP) -- NASA said Wednesday it was looking into a problem with a malfunctioning cooling pump on the International Space Station, but there was no immediate danger to the six crewmen on board.

A valve on a pump on one of the station's two external cooling loops shut down because it was too cool Wednesday afternoon, NASA spokesman Bob Jacobs said. He said that at no time was the crew at risk. But some non-critical equipment of the massive orbital outpost were powered down.

"It could be a serious problem, but it's not an emergency," Johnson Space Center spokesman Kelly Humphries said.

Engineers suspect a valve inside the pump was faulty and ground controllers moved electrical power supplies to the other cooling loop, Jacobs said. These loops circulate ammonia outside the station to keep equipment inside and outside cool.

"The station wasn't ever in any danger," Jacobs said.

Jacobs said the crew of two American astronauts, three Russian cosmonauts and a Japanese astronaut were preparing to go to bed as normal, while engineers on the ground tried to troubleshoot the problem. The faulty pump and cooling loop did start up again, he said.

Humphries said it was too early to speculate whether a spacewalk would be needed to fix the problem.

The station commander is cosmonaut Oleg Kotov. Americans Rick Mastracchio and Michael Hopkins, Russians Mikhail Tyurin and Sergey Ryazanaskiy, and Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata are aboard. The orbital outpost, the size of a football field and weighing nearly 1 million pounds, has been in orbit more than 220 miles above Earth since 1998.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Print this article

Comments

Hmm... It looks like you’re not a WCPO Insider. or Subscribe now to contribute!

More Science News
Hacker attack? NKU Cyber Defense Team can help
Hacker attack? NKU Cyber Defense Team can help

The students bested teams from nine states--including the University of Louisville--in a recent competition. Organizers described the cyber…

Study: Snack might help avoid fight with spouse
Study: Snack might help avoid fight with spouse

A quick candy bar may stave off more than hunger. It could prevent major fights between husbands and wives, at least if a new study that used…

'Blood moon' a treat for skywatchers
'Blood moon' a treat for skywatchers

A special treat occurred for most of North America Monday night into Tuesday when the moon turned to blood – well, sort of.

Cost of fighting warming 'modest,' says UN panel
Cost of fighting warming 'modest,' says UN panel

The cost of keeping global warming in check is "relatively modest," but only if the world acts quickly to reverse the buildup of…

Spring find you in love? Blame it on oxytocin
Spring find you in love? Blame it on oxytocin

Is there something to the notion that more people actually fall in love in the springtime? Mark Bardgett, the director of the…

Celestial event to bathe Tri-State in 'blood'
Celestial event to bathe Tri-State in 'blood'

A special treat is in store for the Tri-State next week when the moon turns to blood – well, sort of.

Electrical device helps paralyzed men move legs
Electrical device helps paralyzed men move legs

Three years ago, doctors reported that zapping a paralyzed man's spinal cord with electricity allowed him to stand and move his legs. Now…

UK scientists make body parts in lab
UK scientists make body parts in lab

In a north London hospital, scientists are growing noses, ears and blood vessels in the laboratory in a bold attempt to make body parts using…

Odds are dopamine has us hooked on sports bets
Odds are dopamine has us hooked on sports bets

Depending on how your bracket looks--and how much money is on the line--March Madness is either the best or worst of times for sports fans…

Why Reds Opening Day makes hearts & brains happy
Why Reds Opening Day makes hearts & brains happy

Turns out there are scientific reasons our hearts beat faster and we're all smiles for the start for baseball season in Cincinnati.