Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Spacewalk Repairs for ISS

Hey Space Placers!

NASA has announced that astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) will be conducting spacewalks to repair the faulty ammonia coolant line valve located within a pump module unit. This fault in the cooling system has required the shutdown of electrical components to reduce the heat load on ISS.

NASA had studied its options in dealing with the problem and finally settled on the replacement via spacewalk option on December 17th. This is the same unit that had to replaced during three spacewalks in 2010. A spare unit is stowed outside of ISS.

There will be a teleconference on the spacewalks today -12/18- at 3 p.m. EST. The spacewalks are scheduled for December 21, 23 and 25. This would be the first spacewalk done on Christmas since Skylab 4 astronauts conducted one in 1973.

The spacewalks will start each day at 7:10 a.m and last for 6 1/2 hours. Live NASA TV coverage will begin at 6:15 a.m EST to cover the spacewalks.

This will be the first spacewalk since the serious mishap that occurred earlier this year when ISS astronaut Luca Parmitano literally almost drown in his spacesuit because of a water leak. The investigation into that mishap is still ongoing and a different spacesuit will be used.

NASA also announced that the Orbital Sciences Corporation Cygnus resupply mission to ISS that was to launch on December 19th from Wallops Island Launch Facility has been positioned to mid-January at the earliest.

We'll keep you posted.

Sky Guy in VA

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