NoUFO
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Ammonia Leak Outside ISS

Thu May 09, 2013 10:58 pm

Station's power relies on ammonia coolant, and a couple of hours ago (Thursday May 9) the crew found that the ammonia of one cooling loop was leaking into space. This could lead to a shutdown of said cooling loop in about 48 hours.

According to NASA's press release ( http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/st...tions/expedition35/e35_050913.html ) the crew is safe, but Chris Hadfield tweeted the problem was serious. I understand the crew is normally asleep at this time, but they still seem to be up.
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zanl188
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RE: Ammonia Leak Outside ISS

Fri May 10, 2013 12:17 am

Any indication of exactly which component is leaking?

A Soyuz is scheduled to depart Monday leaving only one US astronaut aboard... Might be awhile before an EVA is possible, assuming they know what's leaking and have the resources to repair it.
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NoUFO
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RE: Ammonia Leak Outside ISS

Fri May 10, 2013 1:02 pm

EVA will be tomorrow (Saturday) by C. Cassidy and T. Marshburn.
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jollo
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RE: Ammonia Leak Outside ISS

Fri May 10, 2013 2:49 pm

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 2):
EVA will be tomorrow (Saturday) by C. Cassidy and T. Marshburn.

EVA is time-critical because if the pressure drops too low the loop will auto-shut down, and the residual pressure may not be enough to produce the current stream of ammonia flakes, a simple and effective visual aid to pinpoint the leak. IIRC the latest such leak (late 2012) couldn't be found for sure.
 
zanl188
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RE: Ammonia Leak Outside ISS

Sat May 11, 2013 12:44 am

EVA plan is to eye ball the leak, however the PFCS (Pump Flow Control System) is suspect and they will replace if it's the source.

Marshburn had been scheduled to leave with the Soyuz on Monday. Apparently departure is on hold pending resolution of this problem.
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zanl188
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RE: Ammonia Leak Outside ISS

Sat May 11, 2013 12:45 pm

Hatch open on the EVA
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zanl188
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RE: Ammonia Leak Outside ISS

Sat May 11, 2013 2:25 pm

PFCS removed. No obvious leak indication. Going to get the spare.
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zanl188
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RE: Ammonia Leak Outside ISS

Sat May 11, 2013 3:49 pm

New PFCS powered up and working. No leaks so far.
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NoUFO
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RE: Ammonia Leak Outside ISS

Sat May 11, 2013 7:37 pm

Good. That was "something to break the habit" as we Germans say and return home on Monday.
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