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Waspie_Dwarf

Space Station Cooling System Malfunction

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Update on Space Station Cooling System

Earlier Wednesday, the pump module on one of the space station’s two external cooling loops automatically shut down when it reached pre-set temperature limits. These loops circulate ammonia outside the station to keep both internal and external equipment cool. The flight control teams worked to get the cooling loop back up and running, and they suspect a flow control valve actually inside the pump module itself might not be functioning correctly.

At no time was the crew or the station itself in any danger, but the ground teams did work to move certain electrical systems over to the second loop. Some non-critical systems have been powered down inside the Harmony node, the Kibo laboratory and the Columbus laboratory while the teams work to figure out what caused the valve to not function correctly and how to fix it. The crew is safe and preparing to begin a normal sleep shift while experts on the ground collect more data and consider what troubleshooting activities may be necessary.

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Teams Working Cooling System Issue; Station Crew Carries on With Research

The International Space Station’s Expedition 38 crew worked Thursday with the team on the ground to deal with a malfunction that occurred Wednesday on one of the station’s two external cooling loops that uses ammonia to prevent station systems from overheating.

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Station Crew 'In Good Shape' As Engineers Troubleshoot Coolant Problem

NASA's Mission Management Team Chairman Kenny Todd discusses an issue being worked with the cooling loop aboard the International Space Station.

"All the right folks on the ground are looking at the problem and trying to assess exactly what the root cause is and what our options are to continue moving forward with the flight program."

Credit: NASA

Source: NASA - Multimedia

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Cooling System Troubleshooting, Biomedical Research on Station

While the ground team continues troubleshooting an issue with one of the International Space Station’s two external cooling loops Friday, the Expedition 38 crew focused on biomedical research and preparations for the robotic capture of a commercial cargo craft.

Overnight, flight controllers attempted to power cycle the starboard truss pump module in an attempt to fix the incorrect positioning of the module’s flow control valve that caused the pump to malfunction Wednesday. The attempt was unsuccessful. The engineering teams have concluded there is no way to modify the valve’s firmware so that the valve can be commanded outside of its firmware limits. There is still additional work to be done in understanding if the thermal loop can be warmed by other methods, which could include manipulating other valves in the system or adding heat to the system via heaters.

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