Sunita Williams tackles ISS coolant leak
Houston: Indian American record-setting NASA astronaut Sunita Williams along with another cosmonaut today troubleshot an ammonia leak in the International Space Station`s cooling system, accomplishing the chief objective of their marathon six-hour excursion outside the orbiting lab.
Williams and Japanese space flyer Akihiko Hoshide ventured yesterday outside the space station at 1229 GMT (1759 IST) and just a little more than five hours later, they had reconfigured some coolant lines and deployed a spare radiator, isolating the leak.
"Suni and Aki, heartfelt congratulations to you," NASA astronaut Mike Fincke, who helped walk the astronauts through their tasks from mission control at the agency`s Johnson Space Center in Houston, said at 1741 GMT (2311 IST).
"We accomplished just about everything we set out to do today. A big, huge congratulations to you guys on the ground for putting this together," Williams responded.
Each of the space station`s eight huge solar panels has its own associated power system, and circulating ammonia helps cool this gear down.
The leak, which NASA and its space station partners first noticed in 2007, has the potential to affect one of these power channels if it`s not fixed.
Today`s Spacewalk, or extra-vehicular activity (EVA), a crucial step in that process was slated to last about 6 1/2 hours, and it proceeded pretty much on schedule.
By 0128 hrs IST, both astronauts had re-entered the space station through its airlock, and the spacewalk was officially over nine minutes later.
At the start of the spacewalk, Williams, commander of the station`s current Expedition 33, and Hoshide made their way over to the port side of the station`s backbone-like truss.
They rejiggered some lines in the affected coolant system and installed a spare radiator.
NASA officials hope this stops the leak, which they suspect may be coming from the old (swapped-out) radiator.
If ammonia continues to escape, the station`s operators will eventually have to try something else.
But there likely won`t be an urgent need for a new fix, since the spare radiator should provide enough ammonia to keep the coolant system operating until next October or so, officials said.
It should come as no surprise that Williams and Hoshide ticked off their tasks efficiently today, for the two are seasoned space walkers.
In late August and early September, they replaced a vital power unit on the station over the course of two spacewalks, defeating an unexpectedly stubborn stuck bolt in the process.
Today`s EVA was the seventh for Williams, the third for Hoshide and the 138th to depart from the station overall.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Zee Media Exclusive: Kangana, Madhavan talk about their film 'Tanu Weds Manu Returns'
- DNA: Harmful chemicals found in Maggi, Nestle India still in denial mode
- CM Kejriwal shortlists 39 'unwanted' IAS officers in Delhi
- Rajasthan: Gujjars revive reservation agitation, block rail track
- DNA: Modi-led NDA govt's hits and misses in one year
- J Jayalalithaa sworn-in as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
- Zee Media Exclusive interview with Congress leader Kamal Nath
- Mumbai: One injured in shootout at Film City
- ISIS to buy first nuclear weapon from Pak?
- Mumbai: CCTV captures assailant with gun at Film City
- Dr Subhash Chandra Show: Aspiring for more than what you have!
- BJP now central pole of Indian politics: Arun Jaitley
- Maharashtra FDA sends Maggi noodles for lab testing
- Mathura SSP receives death threat letter, message for PM Modi
- See what can Maggi do to your health!
- IPL 2015, Qualifier 2: CSK vs RCB - As it happened...
- India to soon have its own space shuttle!
- PM Narendra Modi graces Digvijay Singh's son wedding reception
- Rahul Gandhi to pressurise govt to act on one-rank-one-pension issue
- Goa Board SSC Exam Results 2015 announced
- ISIS close to buying nuclear weapon from Pakistan?
- CBSE 12th Results 2015: CBSE Board Cbse.nic.in & cbseresults.nic class 12th XII board exam Results 2015 date announced
- Manohar Parrikar visits forward areas along LoC, reviews security situation
- Businessman shot next to Amitabh Bachchan's shooting location in Mumbai Film City
- There will be no delay in appointing CIC, CVC: Jitendra Singh
- Credibility of Prime Minister's Office restored by BJP, says Arun Jaitley
- ISIS justifies raping slave girls, says Michelle Obama is 'worth $40'
- CBSE Board 10th Results 2015: Cbse.nic.in & Cbseresults.nic class 10th X board exam results 2015 date announced
- LIVE SCORE: 1st Test, Day 2 - England vs New Zealand
- Arvind Kejriwal to highlight AAP govt's 100 days work on Monday