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NASA: Space station power system radiator leaking

Posted: May 9, 2013 8:17 p.m.
Updated: May 9, 2013 8:17 p.m.

The sun rises over the South Pacific Ocean photographed by one of the Expedition 35 crew members aboard the Earth-orbiting International Space Station photographed the sun rising over the South Pacific Ocean on May 5.

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — The International Space Station has a radiator leak in its power system. The outpost's commander calls the situation serious, but not life-threatening.

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.

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