Space station astronauts take unplanned spacewalk to attempt repair of ‘serious’ leak

Originally posted on National Post | News:

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Astronauts making a rare, hastily planned spacewalk replaced a pump outside the International Space Station on Saturday in hopes of plugging a serious ammonia leak.

The prospects of success grew as the minutes passed and no frozen flecks of ammonia appeared. Mission Control said it appeared as though the leak may have been plugged, although more monitoring was needed before declaring a victory.

“No evidence of any ammonia leakage whatsoever. We have an airtight system — at the moment,” Mission Control reported.

Christopher Cassidy and Thomas Marshburn installed the new pump after removing the old one suspected of spewing flakes of frozen ammonia coolant two days earlier.

NASA TV/AFP/Getty Images

NASA TV/AFP/Getty Images

Just in case, the spacewalkers hung around for a while, on the lookout for any icy flecks that might appear from the long frame that holds the solar panels on the left side.

“Let us know…

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