Wednesday, April 14, 2010

NASA still trying to fix stuck space valve

NASA officials tried unsuccessfully to use a remote control earlier today to fix a stuck valve on a nitrogen tank at the International Space Station.

The problem arose during a spacewalk Tuesday after mission specialists Rick Mastracchio and Clay Anderson installed a fresh coolant tank outside the station.

Ground controllers couldn't activate the new ammonia supply right away due to the mishap.

If the problem can't be fixed in the next few days the coolant system that serves the station's startboard side might need to be shut down for a time.

The station will enter a roughly two-week period in which the sun's angle keeps one side of the outpost hot and the other side cold.

Temperature swings cause the station's ammonia coolant to expand and contract, a process managed by a bellows within the ammonia tank hardware that is fed by nitrogen. The bellows wouldn't work without normal nitrogen flow.

If the valve remains shut, the ammonia loop serving the starboard side of the station might need to be shut down, which could have implications for the outpost's ability to maintain a full crew of six.


Anonymous said...

A people!!!!!!! --we have a Shuttle right there with Space Suits---lets get to work and suit up and fix it!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

If KSC employees are disgruntled, vote for a Republican... they'll cancel the Orion and underfund everything else and tell you we need to go to war with Iran... "bomb bomb bomb bomb Iran"