Monday, December 9, 2013
The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — The International Space Station has a radiator leak in its power system. The outpost's commander calls the situation serious, but not life-threatening.
FILE - This May 23, 2011 file photo released by NASA shows the International Space Station at an altitude of approximately 220 miles above the Earth, taken by Expedition 27 crew member Paolo Nespoli from the Soyuz TMA-20 following its undocking. NASA on Thursday, May 9, 2013 said the International Space Station has a radiator leak in its power system. The outpost's commander calls the situation serious, but not life-threatening. (AP Photo/NASA, Paolo Nespoli, File)
The six-member crew on Thursday noticed white flakes of ammonia leaking out of the station. Ammonia runs through multiple radiator loops to cool the station's power system. NASA said the leak is increasing from one previously leaking loop that can be bypassed if needed. NASA spokesman Bob Jacobs said engineers are working on rerouting electronics just in case the loop shuts down. The Earth-orbiting station has backup systems.
Space station Commander Chris Hadfield of Canada tweeted that the problem, while serious, was stabilized. Officials will know more Friday.
The space station always has enough emergency escape ships for the crew, but there are no plans to use them.