Spacewalking astronauts tackle pump work at space station

  • Spacewalking astronauts tackle pump work at space station

Spacewalking astronauts tackle pump work at space station

This NASA TV frame grab shows a pair of U.S. astronauts as they began a spacewalk outside the International Space Station on May 16, 2018 to swap and check on two external cooling boxes, nicknamed "Leaky" and "Frosty".

Spacewalking astronauts carried out a high-flying, high-tech version of musical chairs Wednesday, rearranging pumps outside the International Space Station. The other spewed out ammonia five years ago and is dubbed Leaky.

The plan is to move "Frosty" to another spot on the station where it can be powered up and plugged in to find out if it is indeed a healthy spare or not.

Ammonia coolant is toxic, and Mission Control repeatedly warned the spacewalkers to be careful of any leaks.

The PFCS drives and controls the flow of ammonia through the exterior portions of the station's cooling system. This fresh pump is named Motley since it's comprised of a variety of spare parts. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., said that cutting off funding in 2025, as the White House wants to do, "would be irresponsible at best and probably disastrous".

Each 235-pound pump, the size of a flat box, is about 3 feet by 2.5 feet by 1.5 foot.

The greater support for commercial vehicles will be a big step forward for the International Space Station - giving thee vessels an easier time docking and the ability to more easily deliver both passengers as well as supplies and experiments. Weather permitting, the pre-dawn flight of the Antares rocket should be visible along the East Coast from New England to SC.

The astronauts taking part in the NASA space walk are no strangers to the task, with this being the eighth of Feustel's walks as well as the fourth of Arnold's. They have another spacewalk lined up for next month. The AP is exclusively responsible for all content.