News / Science & Technology

ISS Ammonia Leak Prompts Emergency Spacewalk

International Space Station photographed by Expedition 27 crew member Paolo Nespoli from the Soyuz TMA-20 after undocking, image released May 9, 2013.
International Space Station photographed by Expedition 27 crew member Paolo Nespoli from the Soyuz TMA-20 after undocking, image released May 9, 2013.
VOA News
The International Space Station crew is preparing for an emergency spacewalk Saturday to fix an ammonia coolant leak from the orbiting laboratory.
 
The space station's commander, Canadian Chris Hadfield, described the leak Friday as a "serious situation," but one that has been stabilized by the six-member crew. He said on his Twitter account that two American astronauts, Chris Cassidy and Tom Marshburn, are getting their space suits ready to go outside the spacecraft to find the source of the leak and fix it.
 
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, with Hadfield describing the problem for the spaceship's ground controllers at NASA's command center in Houston, Texas.
 
"Houston — Station: ... 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."
 
NASA says the rate of ammonia escaping has increased since it was first reported, but adds that the station is functioning normally.
 
Ammonia is used to cool the station's power systems that provide electricity to the station. NASA says it is working to reroute other power to maintain full operation of solar arrays. NASA says the leaking array could be shut down.
 
The station had a similar leak last year, but it is not clear whether this leak is from the same source.
 
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid