Technology Spacewalkers work on coolant pumps "Leaky" and "Frosty"

17:31  16 may  2018
17:31  16 may  2018 Source:   cbsnews.com

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Spacewalkers work on coolant pumps " Leaky " and " Frosty ". "The Stuff": Tackling life's challenges with inner fortitude. Play Video.

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The International Space Station.: iss1-620.jpg © NASA iss1-620.jpg

Two astronauts worked outside the International Space Station on Wednesday to help reposition two spare solar array ammonia coolant pump assemblies, putting a failed unit, dubbed "Leaky," into long-term storage and attaching another, known as "Frosty," to an appendage of the lab's robot arm.

After the spacewalk is over, arm operators at the Johnson Space Center in Houston planned to move Frosty to the P6 solar array segment at the far left end of the station's power truss where it can be plugged in for diagnostics. It will join yet another spare pump flow control sub-assembly, or PFCS, known as "Motley," that is already in place on P6.

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The ammonia pump in coolant loop A failed July 31, leaving the space station with just one coolant system to dissipate the But those plans ran into problems during the first excursion Saturday when a leak prevented the spacewalkers from disengaging one of four ammonia quick-disconnect fittings.

An unexpected ammonia leak and a jammed quick-disconnect fitting disrupted an eight-hour three-minute spacewalk Saturday to replace a faulty coolant system pump on the Anytime spacewalkers are exposed to ammonia "One is try it again, does it work ? Two is to see can we handle a leaky QD?

The units are designed to help push coolant through solar array batteries to keep them from overheating. The appropriately named Frosty has been stored outside the station for nearly 20 years but it once was without heater power for an extended period and engineers are not sure if it's still a viable spare.

Motley was delivered to the lab complex by a SpaceX Dragon cargo ship earlier this year. As its name might suggest, it is made up of spare parts but it is fully operational and readily available if one of the eight operational PFCS units, one for each solar array set, fails.

But because the station uses eight PFCSs to cool all of the solar array batteries, NASA wants two operational spares available at all times and engineers want to find out whether Frosty is, in fact, operational.

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So if NASA spent time playing with the valve and found out it couldn’t work in the long run So that’s why the spacewalk is happening. Here’s a diagram of the pump that Mastracchio and Hopkins plan to replace coolant , cooling problem, expedition 38, mike hopkins, Rick Mastracchio, spacewalk .

Since 2007, spacewalkers have gone out to deal with coolant system issues six times. In May, NASA mounted a spacewalk to replace a leaky coolant pump control box after just two days of planning.

Station commander Drew Feustel and Ricky Arnold, floating in the station's Quest airlock, switched their spacesuits to battery power at 7:39 a.m. EDT (GMT-4), officially kicking off a planned 6.5-hour spacewalk, the 210th extravehicular activity devoted to station assembly and maintenance since construction began in 1998 and the fifth so far this year.

For identification, Feustel, call sign EV-1, is wearing a suit with red stripes and is using helmet camera 17. This is his eighth spacewalk after six across two shuttle missions and one outside the station earlier this year. Arnold, EV-2, is wearing an unmarked suit and is using helmet cam 18. This is his fourth EVA after two on a shuttle flight and one with Feustel at the station.

Going into the EVA, Frosty was mounted on External Storage Platform No. 1 while Leaky was earlier attached to an appendage of the station's special purpose dexterous manipulator, or DEXTRE, a multi-joint hand-like fitting by the lab's robot arm.

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A pump controller box on the International Space Station´s far port truss (P6) believed to have been leaking ammonia coolant was inspected and replaced during a “ Spacewalkers practice underwater in the facility and divers provide assistance and dive safety protection during spacewalk simulations.”

Two NASA astronauts performed an unscheduled spacewalk on Saturday, replacing a coolant pump on the station's truss that appeared to be the source of The spacewalkers found no obvious source of the leak, but went ahead and replaced the pump controller box on the P6 section of the truss

Leaky will take Frosty's place on ESP-1, where it will remain in long-term storage, and Frosty will be attached to DEXTRE. After the spacewalk is over, flight controllers will use the arm to move Frosty out to the P6 solar array truss segment, where it can be plugged in for power and telemetry.

"The purpose of a PFCS, a pump flow control subassembly, is all about the cooling of the batteries the space station holds its electrical power in," said Anthony Vareha, the spacewalk flight director at the Johnson Space Center.

"We've got the eight big solar arrays you've seen on space station, each of those has some batteries, we need to keep the batteries cool just like in your cell phone. We do that with an ammonia cooling loop. We pump the ammonia through a radiator and out through the batteries, cools them off."

More than 15 years ago, Frosty lost heater power because of an unrelated problem elsewhere in the station.

"As a result, the worry is that pump got a little bit cold and henceforth, it was named 'Frosty.' We are going to swap Frosty out to the shelf on P6 so we can plug it in, we can actually get data from it and make sure it is, indeed, a healthy pump. That tells us do we have a good spare there or not."

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“Mission Control ran the new pump while the spacewalkers watched for any ammonia snowflakes, but so far there have been no new signs of a leak. The coolant dissipates heat from electronics in space station’s solar-powered electrical system,” Reuters reporter Irene Klotz said on Saturday.

Two spacewalking astronauts successfully removed a faulty coolant pump on the International Space Station on Wednesday in their second attempt to remove the device. The two are scheduled to perform a third spacewalk no earlier than Monday to install a replacement pump .

Feustel and Arnold also plan to replace a standard definition camera, its light and its pan-and-tilt mechanism.

With the spacewalk out of the way, the station crew will turn its attention the launch Sunday of an Orbital ATK Cygnus cargo ship from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA's Wallops Island, Va., facility. The cargo ship is expected to arrive at the station on May 24.

The astronauts will help with initial unloading before Soyuz MS-07/53S commander Anton Shkaplerov, Scott Tingle and Norishige Kanai pack up for re-entry and landing June 3 to close out a 168-day mission. Feustel, Arnold and Soyuz MS-08/54S commander Oleg Artemyev will have the station to themselves until three fresh crew members arrive June 8.

After the new crew — Soyuz MS-09/55S commander Sergey Prokopyev, veteran European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst and NASA flight surgeon Serena Aūnón-Chancellor — arrives, another spacewalk is planned by Feustel and Arnold to install cameras on the front of the station to monitor arrivals and departures of commercial crew ships being built by Boeing and SpaceX.

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