NASA: Urgent Spacewalks to ISS, Delays Wallops Cygnus Launch - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

NASA: Urgent Spacewalks to ISS, Delays Wallops Cygnus Launch

Posted:

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - NASA has ordered up a series of urgent spacewalks to fix a broken cooling line at the International Space Station.
    
Station managers decided Tuesday to send two American astronauts out as soon as possible to replace a pump with a bad valve. It's a major job that will require three spacewalks - Saturday, Monday and next Wednesday on Christmas Day.
    
"The next week will be busy with space walks so not much tweeting from here," NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio tweeted from space soon after the decision was announced.
    
The spacewalks are taking priority over the launch of a supply ship from Virginia. The commercial delivery had been scheduled for this week, but is now delayed until at least mid-January.
    
Half of the station's cooling system shut down last Wednesday, forcing the six-man crew to turn off all nonessential equipment, including some science experiments. Because of the valve failure, one of the two cooling lines became too cold.
    
The space station cooling system, which runs ammonia through the lines, is critical for dispelling heat generated by on-board equipment.
    
While the astronauts are safe and comfortable, NASA wants the system back up to full strength, in case of another failure that could leave the orbiting outpost even more vulnerable than it is right now.
    
Flight controllers tried in vain to fix the valve remotely, then came up with a plan to use another valve to regulate the temperature. Some success was reported, and for a while, engineers thought the space station could limp along with the short-term solution. But on Tuesday, managers opted for spacewalks right now.
    
This is the same pump that was replaced by a pair of spacewalking astronauts in 2010. Three spacewalks were needed then.
    
Mastracchio and astronaut Michael Hopkins trained for just such a repair before rocketing into orbit. They have been prepping all week, just in case of just such a decision.
    
Orbital Sciences Corp., meanwhile, will stand down from its planned Thursday night launch of its Cygnus cargo ship from Wallops Island, Va.
    
The station crew includes three Russians and one Japanese, aside from the two Americans.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Delmar Man Gets 75 Years for Murder

    Delmar Man Gets 75 Years for Murder

    Thursday, April 24 2014 12:07 PM EDT2014-04-24 16:07:17 GMT
    A Delmar man convicted of second-degree murder in connection with a fatal shooting that occurred last year was sentenced to 75 years in prison Thursday, according to the Wicomico County State's Attorney's Office.More
    A Delmar man convicted of second-degree murder in connection with a fatal shooting that occurred last year was sentenced to 75 years in prison Thursday, according to the Wicomico County State's Attorney's Office. More
  • Fire at Berlin Main Street Restaurant

    Fire at Berlin Main Street Restaurant

    Thursday, April 24 2014 1:05 PM EDT2014-04-24 17:05:28 GMT
    BERLIN, Md. – The manager of Siculi Rustic Italian Restaurant said a small fire started in the kitchen of the restaurant, which is located on Main Street.More
    The manager of Siculi Rustic Italian Restaurant on Main Street in Berlin says a small fire started in the kitchen late Thursday morning.More
  • Fire Destroys Mid-Atlantic Family Practice in Lewes

    Fire Destroys Mid-Atlantic Family Practice in Lewes

    Thursday, April 24 2014 11:34 PM EDT2014-04-25 03:34:48 GMT
    Fire broke out at the Mid-Atlantic Family Practice office on Route 24 in Lewes this afternoon. Heavy black smoke was seen billowing from the building.More
    Fire broke out at the Mid-Atlantic Family Practice office on Route 24 in Lewes this afternoon. Heavy black smoke was seen billowing from the building.More
Powered by WorldNow

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service