NASA is planning to send their astronauts to take a walk in space within the week to get the International Space Station cooling problem fixed.
Reuters wrote that one of the two cooling systems of the US part of the station broke down on Wednesday after a problem was spotted inside the pump's valve. The shutdown left the astronauts with no choice but to turn off the other not so important equipment which caused the temporary suspension of some of the station's experiments. The good news is that no member of the six-man crew got hurt.
The International Space Station flies around 250 miles above the Earth.
As NASA continued to assess the options of fixing the broken valve, a couple of flight engineers of the station started preparing their space suits for the planned space walk. According to a statement seen posted on the NASA Web site, Michael Hopkins and Rick Mastracchio will have to space walk in order to replace the problematic pump.
It can be recalled that it was the same pump replaced in 2010 that required a total of three spacewalks then. Mastracchio added that the big challenge on the planned spacewalk includes the large fluid connectors that are all connected to the module of the pump. He is confident though that they have enough tools to have it fixed.
News24 wrote that NASA is expected to have a decision on Monday whether the maiden launch of the Orbital Sciences of its unmanned cargo craft called Cygnus will push through on its original December 18 schedule.
Orbital Sciences is just one of the two companies hired by NASA to fly out the cargo to the ISS after the space shuttles retired in 2011. It was in September when it had its successful test flight and aims to launch its first mission to operate by Wednesday. The planned flight is under a contract with NASA worth $1.9 billion.
However, the efforts of Orbital Sciences for the Cygnus cargo ship launch can still experience some delay up to around December 21 due to the failed cooling system problem that emerged.