International Space Station: Astronauts replace cooling pumps during the spacewalk


Two astronauts went outside the International Space Station on Wednesday to realign two spare solar array ammonia coolant pump assemblies. They removed a failed unit which is called as the “Leaky” into the storage permanently. In its place, they have attached a permanent one which is called as the “Frosty” for the working of the lab’s robot arm.

Arm operators who are sitting at the Johnson Space Center have plans to shift the Frosty to the P6 solar array segment in the latter part of this week. It will be positioned at the far left end of the power truss where it is planned to plug in for any amendments. At that position, it will join “Motley” which is also located at P6, and it is also a spare pump flow control subassembly.

The units are being set up in such a way that to push coolant through solar array batteries to protect them from overheating. Frosty had remained outside the station for 20 years, but for once it did not have heater power for a specified period of time, and therefore engineers are not confident whether it is a viable spare anymore.

Motley was being designed to the lab complex with the help of a SpaceX Cargo Dragon ship in the earlier part of this year. As the name implies it is made up of spare parts, but it is believed to be fully operational and instantly available if in any case any of the eight functional PFCS units fails.

Since the station takes into account eight PFCSs to cool down all of the solar array batteries, NASA has the plan to use two operational spares active all the time. This show that the engineers need to insert it in and out also scrutinizes them frequently. Station Commander Drew Feustel as well Ricky Arnold started the journey at 7:39 am EDT, marking the official commencement of the fifth spacewalk till date in this year.

At that time Frosty has mounted on the External storage platform no one while Leaky was initially attached to an appendage of the stations; particular purpose dexterous manipulator or DEXTRE which is a multi-joint hand like fitting by the lab’s robot arm.

It is said that Leaky is moved from DEXTRE to Frosty’s place on ESP-1 where it is supposed to be stationed for a long term.