International Space Station operations slow after cooling loop shuts down


(European Space Agency-NASA via Getty Images)

A pump module on a cooling loop on the International Space Station shut down Wednesday, forcing the crew to halt some noncritical systems. In a statement NASA said that the six-man crew and station was never in danger and everyone is safe.

The flight control teams suspects a flow control valve inside the pump is not functioning correctly. A repair timeline is unclear until the exact issue is pinned down.

“It could be a serious problem, but it’s not an emergency,” Johnson Space Center spokesman Kelly Humphries told the Associated Press.

The cooling loops circulate ammonia outside the station to keep equipment at a proper temperature. The pump shut down after reaching a pre-set temperature limit. Some electrical systems were shifted to the station’s other cooling loop.

The crew currently consists of two Americans, one Japanese and three Russians.

Related: NASA’s update on cooling system

Matt McFarland is the editor of Innovations. He's always looking for the next big thing. You can find him on Twitter and Facebook.

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Matt McFarland · December 11, 2013