NASA delays space station repairs

15:16, August 07, 2010      

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With the Earth's horizon in the background, an unmanned Progress supply vehicle approaches the International Space Station in this undated photograph obtained on July 3, 2010. (Xinhua/Reuters File Photo)

The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) decided on Thursday to delay the start of major repairs on the International Space Station until Saturday, to give engineers more time to plan two spacewalks required to fix the outpost's ailing cooling system.

"The first of two spacewalks by NASA astronauts to replace a failed ammonia pump on the International Space Station has been moved to Saturday, Aug. 7. A second spacewalk is planned for Wednesday, Aug. 11, to complete the repairs," NASA said.

The two spacewalks were originally scheduled for Friday and Monday, respectively. NASA said teams of flight controllers, engineers, and spacewalk and robotics experts have made significant progress in preparing for the spacewalk, but need an additional day to finish working out all the details.

The additional time to prepare for the first spacewalk allows for the final procedures to be uplinked late Thursday and gives the station crew one full day to review the plans that have been developed by Mission Control, it said.

The space station's pump failed over the weekend and took down half of the space station's cooling system, which keeps electronic equipment from overheating.

During the spacewalks, astronauts Doug Wheelock and Tracy Caldwell Dyson, both flight engineers, will replace the pump, and hook up electrical connections and fluid lines.

Source: Xinhua


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