Hadfield says ISS radiator leak serious but not life-threatening
This undated file image provided by the European Space Agency ESA on Wednesday April 3, 2013 shows the International Space Station in the sunlight. (AP / NASA / European Space Agency ESA. Keystone)
Seth Borenstein, The Associated Press
Published Thursday, May 9, 2013 10:49PM EDT
WASHINGTON -- The International Space Station has a radiator leak in its power system. The outpost's commander calls the situation serious, but not life-threatening.
The six-member crew on Thursday noticed white flakes of ammonia leaking out of the station. Ammonia runs through multiple radiator loops to cool the station's power system. NASA said the leak is increasing from one previously leaking loop that can be bypassed if needed. NASA spokesman Bob Jacobs said engineers are working on rerouting electronics just in case the loop shuts down. The Earth-orbiting station has backup systems.
Space station Commander Chris Hadfield of Canada tweeted that the problem, while serious, was stabilized. Officials will know more Friday.
The space station always has enough emergency escape ships for the crew, but there are no plans to use them.