Ammonia leak detected in US section of space station

Moscow, May 10 (IANS/RIA Novosti) An ammonia leak was detected in the cooling system in the US section of the International Space Station, a Russian space agency official said Friday.

“Yes, there was indeed an ammonia leak. It took place in the American section of the station, and it is not critical,” said Alexei Krasnov of Roscosmos.

“Unfortunately, it is not the first time that something like this has happened. The Russian section of the station and all other parts of it are working normally,” he said.

Ammonia is used to cool the station’s power channels that provide electricity to station systems. Each solar array has its own independent cooling loop.

This ammonia loop is the same one that spacewalkers attempted to troubleshoot a leak on during a spacewalk Nov 1, 2012. It is not yet known whether this increased ammonia flow comes from the same leak which, at the time, was not visible.

According to the space agency, the leak rate could result in a shutdown of this cooling loop.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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