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back to article ISS suffers coolant pump failure

The International Space Station's crew is "not in any danger" following the failure of an ammonia cooling loop pump on Saturday night. NASA explains that a circuit breaker trip preceded the breakdown of the "Pump Module for loop A that feeds ammonia to maintain the proper cooling for systems and avionics", just before midnight …

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Coat

Reverse polarity!

They need to divert power through a secondary conduit and alter the phase flow of the main relay junction before the subatomic harmonising field flow destabilises and DESTROYS EVERYTHING!!

Beam me coat back, Scotty, I need to leave...

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Boffin

RTFA.

They already have diverted (cooling) power through a secondary (B) circuit. I think the next step involves tachyons and the main deflector dish though I can't recall if it's a beam, ray, wave, pulse, field or burst that is needed in this situatiuon.

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Joke

Redundancy following the installation of jumper cables

Ahh the old "if the fuse keeps blowing, just stick a copper cable in it's place" trick.

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Boffin

Surprised there is no redundancy here..

I'm surprised they dont have an online spare for this that they can just power up, a set of oneway valves would make this eminently feasiable. (and dont say, what about the extra weight, the parts are already up there!)

I would have expected online redundancy in all critical [to life] systems, power, air, heating and cooling. Oh well, maybe this loop is not a crtitcal system? off to NASA for further reading...

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Stop

Woa there.

RTFA. The B circuit is coping just fine, it was online and clearly has the capacity to take up 100% of the life safety load. Sure some non essential load has been shed but thats an availability issue not a life safety one.

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Added complexity.

And the ISS does gave a backup cooling system, which is working well. Enough for life support, but they've shut down some non-critical hardware to take some of the load off it.

And don't forget that the ISS was designed on the assumption that the Shuttle would be in service as long as the ISS. It may be that the only reason it has a spare pump, is that is one of the heavy spares sent up in the last year or so, because the Shuttle is being grounded.

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Anonymous Coward

@Woa There

"and clearly has the capacity to take up 100%"

"Sure some non essential load has been shed"

Why? if it has capacity...

It sounds like the loop has taken down some of the power systems, which is a bit more of a problem, and rasies the question as to whether it has redundancy now? ever heard of double and tripple?

"The station is in a stable configuration with most systems receiving cooling and many systems operating with redundancy following the installation of jumper cables from the Destiny Lab’s power system overnight."

The quote says 'most' and 'many' and redundancy has only been restored via installed jumpers. My point is why drop to one loop at all? if each loop had redundancy built in they would not need to install jumpers to maintain redundancy. As I said the parts are there.

PS: nice handle. Admirable.

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Unhappy

"a couple of spares sitting on external stowage platforms"

Leaving one after the faulty one is swapped out. Let's hope it can be brought back, fixed, and returned to the ISS on the two remaining Shuttle flights.

I really can't see the ISS flying until 2020 without the shuttle to service it. Or even 2015.

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Alert

RE: "a couple of spares sitting on external stowage platforms"

Personally, I would pitch the faulty unit out the back of the station, on a slight downward angle. Then ship a nice new pump unit up on one of the regular Soyuz resupply ships. That is what they are for after all.

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