Two space astronauts are now working a crucial spacewalk in order to make some repair to the International Space Station’s cooling system.
The repair works will be done by the two astronauts Douglas Wheelock and Tracy Caldwell Dyson. They will be taking the first two walks in the space. They will need to repair the broken ammonia coolant pump of the station.
The cooling system of the ISS has two units. They need to deal with temperatures that range from 121C (250F) to negative 157C (-250F). The first unit must be urgently repaired. The second unit, on the other hand, is so far not that affected yet.
According to NASA, the Russian cosmonauts and other NASA astronauts in the ISS are in good physique. The only problem is the seemingly malfunctioning of the cooling system. The second unit was observed to be failing with its function, and so they have to reduce the power of the system and temporarily stop their experiments.
The first walk in space by Wheelock and Dyson will be for the objective of removing the failed unit, which is the first unit. After it has been removed, the astronauts will have to move a 355kg extra unit to fill out the gap in between the two units.
The second walk, which will be on Wednesday, will be done in order to connect the ammonia fluid lines, since it is the ammonia coolant pump that was malfunctioning.
The worst case scenario presented here is the failure of the second unit, which according to NASA, is unlikely to happen. By any chance, this is going to happen, the astronauts will no longer be able to repair the cooling system, thus failing to cool most of the components.
However, the astronauts sent in for the mission are not in danger if this event will happen. They could immediately move on to the Russian segment of the station, having its own cooling system.