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Forum:Space Shuttles - Space Station
Topic:ISS 38: Coolant Loop A issue and troubleshooting
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Robert Pearlman
Following the successful completion of Saturday's spacewalk, NASA delayed the next planned excursion from Monday to Tuesday (Dec. 24).

The extra day will allow time to resize a spare spacesuit for Rick Mastracchio. During repressurization of the station's airlock following Saturday's spacewalk, a spacesuit configuration issue put the suit Mastracchio was wearing in question for the next outing.

Astronaut Koichi Wakata reported the issue to the ground during the airlock's repressurization.

"EV1 [Mastracchio] inadvertently moved the water switch [on his suit] to on and it was quickly returned to off," Wakata told Mission Control.

During a later call up to the station's crew, flight controllers expressed concern about the "water in the sumblimator" in Mastracchio's suit, and sent up procedures to dry it out.

According to NASA, this issue is not related to the helmet water leak that cut short a spacewalk in July.

Due to the slip, if a third spacewalk is needed to complete the repair of the space station's cooling system, it will now take place no sooner than Dec. 26, rather than Christmas Day, as originally scheduled.

Robert PearlmancollectSPACE
Christmas Eve EVA: Astronauts gift space station with coolant pump fix

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station received a gift just in time for Christmas: a new pump module to repair their ailing cooling system and to restore the outpost to full power.

Expedition 38 flight engineers Rick Mastracchio and Mike Hopkins embarked on their second spacewalk together at 5:53 a.m. CST (1153 GMT) on Tuesday morning (Dec. 24) to complete the work they began on Saturday to replace a pump module with a faulty flow control valve.

"Houston from the airlock, we'd just like to say thanks to all the great folks doing all this hard work to get this space station back up and running," Mastracchio radioed at the end of the spacewalk, which concluded at 1:23 p.m. CST, seven hours and 30 minutes after it began.

"No, thank you guys," astronaut capcom Doug Wheelock replied from NASA's Mission Control in Houston. "It is the best Christmas ever. Thanks, guys."

"I'd just like to add to that," Hopkins said. "Fantastic work, merry Christmas to everybody. It took a couple of licks to get her done, but we got it."

Robert PearlmanNASA release
Station's replacement pump successfully restarted

Following two spacewalks to replace a degraded pump module on the truss, or backbone, of the International Space Station, flight controllers in the Mission Control Center at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston successfully restarted the new pump Tuesday night (Dec. 24).

The pump module controls the flow of ammonia through cooling loops and radiators outside the space station, and, combined with water-based cooling loops inside the station, removes excess heat into the vacuum of space.

The new pump now is considered fully functional, but it will take some time to fully reintegrate the pump and Loop A of the two-loop external cooling system. Teams at mission control are following a schedule that should allow the restored cooling loop to be fully activated and integrated into the station's cooling system on Christmas Day, Dec. 25.

Electrical systems that depend on cooling from Loop A will be repowered or moved back from their temporary support on Loop B gradually on Thursday, Friday and throughout the weekend.

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