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NASA Studies Space Station Cooling Glitch; No Immediate Danger to Crew

International Space Station (undated photo)
NASA says it is assessing a problem with one of two cooling systems aboard the International Space Station, but says there is no immediate danger to crewmen on board.

Spokesman Kelly Humphries, speaking Wednesday, said the problem appeared to be a faulty valve inside a pump on the exterior of the $100 billion research complex, which is traveling about 400 kilometers above the Earth.

Humphries said engineers were trying to determine whether the malfunction was a hardware or a software problem, and said repairs may require a space walk. He said the three Russian, two American and one Japanese crew members shut down some minor operating systems to reduce power consumption.

Space walks for U.S. astronauts aboard the station have been suspended since July, as investigators continue to probe the cause of a space suit leak that caused an Italian astronaut's helmet to begin filling with water.


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