World News

Astronauts Remove Possible Leak Source During Spacewalk

Two American astronauts have completed a spacewalk to replace a large pump controller box outside the international space station that may be the source of an ammonia leak.

NASA says astronauts Chris Cassidy and Tom Marshburn removed the 113-kilogram box and replaced it with a spare about two-and-a-half hours into their walk. The pair spent more than six hours outside the space station Saturday.

On Friday, the space station's Canadian commander, Chris Hadfield, described the ammonia leak in the orbiting laboratory's power cooling system as a "serious situation," but one that had been stabilized by the six-member crew.

The U.S. space agency NASA said the crew was not in danger and that the station otherwise continues to operate normally.

Space station crew members reported the leak Thursday.



Hadfield described the problem to the spaceship's ground controllers at NASA's command center in Houston, Texas.



"Houston - Station. This is Chris. Space to Ground One.... I was back in the docking compartment looking. I was just talking with Tom and Chris who sounds like they can back up completely what they saw, a very steady stream of flakes or bits coming out of... then rotating towards the... as the truss is rotating, so... we're just waiting to rotate now in order to get a decent view out of the gym.''



Ammonia is used to cool the station's power systems that provide electricity to the station.

The station had a similar leak last year, but it is not clear whether this leak is from the same source.

FEATURED STORY

Relatives cry as the bodies of their family members, who died in Saturday's earthquake, are prepared for cremation along a river in Kathmandu, Nepal, April 28, 2015.

Multimedia Quake Overwhelms Nepal

VOA's Steve Herman describes the scene in Kathmandu, where quake survivors persevere despite death toll, which now exceeds 4,300 More

UNOCHA
UNOCHA
United Nations
United Nations
Steve Herman
Steve Herman
UNOCHA
United Nations
United Nations
United Nations