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Expensive repair job: Astronauts replace cooling pump on International Space Station - VIDEO

Short-notice spacewalk required to sort out ammonia leak and protect ISS power system.

Engineers Christopher Cassidy and Thomas Marshburn installed a new pump after a ‘steady stream’ of ammonia was reported leaking from the area over the weekend.

Mission Control for the International Space Station has reported that there is no evidence of further ammonia leakage from the Station’s power system cooling, following a six hour spacewalk on Saturday. The situation will be monitored over the next few days, the ISS reported.

Nasa said the leak, while significant, didn’t jeopardise crew safety. The timing of the spacewalk - the first unplanned one on the ISS - was designed to utilise the skills of Mr Marshburn before returns to Earth in a few days.

Mr Cassidy is reported to have said: “All the pipes look shiny clean, no crud. No smoking guns.”

Engineers decided there was nothing to lose by installing a new pump despite the lack of visible damage to the old one.

The power system is one of eight, and the ISS continued with seven working normally. The loss of another system would still not threaten the six astronauts on board, but would risk threatening back up systems.

The area in question on the space station is prone to leaks, it has been reported.

The same engineers performed a longer repair on the cooling system during a shuttle visit in 2009.

 

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