A cooling system malfunction on International Space station causes alarm, but crew safe.

Crew Safe Despite Cooling System Malfunction on International Space Station

The Slatest
Your News Companion
Dec. 11 2013 8:44 PM

Crew Safe Despite Cooling System Malfunction on International Space Station

The Space Shuttle Discovery docked to the International Space Station on its 2005.

Photo by NASA via Getty Images

A cooling pump on the International Space Station malfunctioned and was shut down on Wednesday. A valve on one of the two external cooling systems was shut down, but the six person crew on board are not in immediate danger, according to NASA. "It could be a serious problem, but it's not an emergency," a Johnson Space Center spokesman told the Associated Press. The crew at the station includes: two Americans, three Russians and a Japanese astronaut, all of whom were proceeding as normal, while engineers on the ground worked to investigate the cause of the failure, according to NASA. A spacewalk maybe necessary to fix the problem, according to NASA officials. The US suspended spacewalks in July, Reuters reports, after an Italian astronaut's helmet filled with water nearly causing him to drown.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in New York City. Follow him on Twitter.

  Slate Plus
May 22 2015 11:14 AM What Happened at Slate This Week? Assistant interactives editor Andrew Kahn on the best of Slate, from the history of slavery to Mad Men.
  Health & Science
May 22 2015 11:56 AM Spider Skies Why are millions of Australian spiders climbing to high points and jumping?