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back to article ISS set for Friday chill-out

The first spacewalk to replace the International Space Station's failed ammonia pump module will take place on Friday, NASA has announced. The ISS is in a "stable configuration" following Saturday's breakdown of the "Pump Module for loop A that feeds ammonia to maintain the proper cooling for systems and avionics". Attempts to …

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Silver badge

Timing

could well be better. According to another story, a solar plasma aurora storm is due to hit Earth, starting "early in the day on August 4th". I know this is Wednesday, but I believe that the storm will last a while.

If I were in the ISS, and not protected by the bulk of the Earth's magnetic field, I would want to find the most shielded part of the station and chill out for a few days, rather than going on a space walk. I guess that the boffins will have taken this into account.

Anybody got any idea whether the ISS is in a low enough orbit to be mostly protected, or is the space walk scheduled when it is in the Earth's shadow (I know some of the remains of the plasma will reach the far side, but it will be less).

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Silver badge

I think they should be OK

AFAIK the ISS's orbit is within the magnetosphere and the station is as protected against the CME plasma as we are here on the ground. Pretty much what extra protection we have here is the ozone layer for UV and a lot of air to burn the meteorites in...

Maybe, when they pass over higher latitudes they would briefly be more exposed...

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Pint

good luck to them...

personally, i'd be shitting myself.....which isn't pleasant in a spacesuit..

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Coat

Design Flaw ^H^H^H^H Feature?

What I don't understand here is why the engineers have put the pump on the outside of the spacecraft,..

Mines is the one with the AE35 schematic in the pocket.

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Probably

Probably because an exploded or otherwise leaking ammonia pump outside isn't really that much of a problem, inside however, would be a very different matter.

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Gold badge

Why not?

So I can understand that you are saying that there would be an advantage if they put it on the inside; for the once in 5 years that they may have to change it, they wouldn't need to perform a space walk.

However I guess you have to weigh up the disadvantages:

The additional habitable space that it would take up. You either have to have less space for the habitants (who can't be put outside instead!), or you have to increase the size and weight of the modules.

Then you would want all the pipework inside too? That would take up more space as well.

<sarcasm mode>

Would sir also like the radiators inside, in case one of them needs a repair? There is the slight problem that we would prefer that the heat removed from inside the spation was directed outside, but for sir, we could put it back inside...

</sarcasm mode>

I think that habitable space is at a premium and that anything that can be stuck on the outside really needs to go outside.

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