Astronauts Replace Pump Outside Of Space Station

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (May 11, 2013)—Astronauts took a spacewalk Saturday to replace an ammonia pump outside the International Space Station in hopes of plugging a serious leak.

Christopher Cassidy and Thomas Marshburn took the hastily planned spacewalk Saturday to find and, possibly, fix the leak after flakes of frozen ammonia coolant were spotted Thursday drifting from the long frame that holds the solar panels on the left side.

The astronauts found "no smoking guns" as they removed a suspect pump, but after the men installed the new pump, however, no new leakage was detected.

NASA will continue to monitor for any seepage. Mission Control says it will take time before it's able to say the problem has been corrected.

NASA says the leak, while significant, never jeopardized crew safety.


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