Update on ISS spacewalks to fix cooling system

NASA astronauts will make up to three spacewalks starting on Dec. 21st to fix a pump valve in the cooling system. The EVAs are complicated by the spacesuit leak that occurred during a spacewalk last July by Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano, who came close to drowning in space.

Here are some details about the cooling system and the spacesuit issue:

NASA gave a briefing on Wednesday on plan:


During NASA Television press briefing from Johnson Space Center, agency managers discussed a series of planned spacewalks, Dec. 21, 23 and 25 by NASA astronauts Rick Mastracchio and Mike Hopkins to replace a faulty coolant pump on the International Space Station.

The pump is associated with one of the station’s two external cooling loops, which circulate ammonia outside the station to keep both internal and external equipment cool.

The previously planned Orbital Sciences commercial cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station has been postponed until no earlier than mid-January. The postponement will allow ample time for the station crew to focus on repairing the pump module, which stopped working properly on Dec. 11.