NASA Prepares for Repair Spacewalk

WASHINGTON, Aug. 3 (UPI) — The U.S. space agency NASA says it will wait to conduct a spacewalk to replace a cooling pump that failed Saturday on the International Space Station.

Station astronauts Doug Wheelock and Tracy Caldwell Dyson are scheduled to start the repairs on the station’s ammonia cooling system Friday, a NASA release said.

Robotics experts are working to refine the procedures to be used by station flight engineer Shannon Walker in guiding the space station’s robotic arm to movie Wheelock into position to swap the failed unit with a spare unit currently stored on an external platform.

The pump module weighs 780 pounds, and is 5 1/2 feet long by 4 feet wide and 3 feet tall.

The pump failed Saturday night and shut down half of the station’s cooling system. Efforts to restart the pump, which maintains the proper temperature for the station’s electrical systems and avionics, were not successful.

The station remained in a stable configuration Tuesday. Most of the astronauts’ planned activities this week have been canceled or deferred to support the spacewalk preparations, NASA said.

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