NASA Orders Astronaut Spacewalks to Fix International Space Station

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Dec. 17 2013 6:34 PM

NASA Orders Astronaut Spacewalks to Fix International Space Station

152919026
Astronauts will perform three spacewalks to fix cooling system on International Space Station.

Photo by NASA via Getty Images

NASA has decided that a series of astronaut spacewalks is necessary to make repairs to the International Space Station. On Tuesday, station managers decided to send two American astronauts to fix a broken cooling line as soon as possible, the Associated Press reports. In what the AP describes as a major job for the astronauts, the repairs will require three spacewalks on Saturday, Monday and Christmas Day.

Last week the station’s cooling system malfunctioned and half of the system was shut down, forcing the crew to shut down all nonessential equipment. The move was designed to take the pressure off the cooling system, which is used to dispel heat that’s generated by equipment onboard. NASA’s decision to send the astronauts on spacewalks, USA Today reports, “came after efforts to regulate temperatures in one of the station's two external loops apparently were unsuccessful.”

Advertisement

"It's a serious problem, obviously," American astronaut Rick Mastracchio said in an interview with SPACE.com on Friday. "It's something we have to fix. It's not something I'm worried about though." The spacewalks will be the first since they were suspended for American astronauts in July following a scare where an Italian astronaut nearly drowned when his spacesuit started leaking causing his helmet to fill with water while outside the station.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

Culturebox

The Ebola Story

How our minds build narratives out of disaster.

The Budget Disaster That Completely Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics

A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers

Education

Welcome to 13th Grade!

Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.

Culturebox

The Actual World

“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.

Want Kids to Delay Sex? Let Planned Parenthood Teach Them Sex Ed.

Would You Trust Walmart to Provide Your Health Care? (You Should.)

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 22 2014 9:42 PM Landslide Landrieu Can the Louisiana Democrat use the powers of incumbency to save herself one more time?
  Business
Continuously Operating
Oct. 22 2014 2:38 PM Crack Open an Old One A highly unscientific evaluation of Germany’s oldest breweries.
  Life
Gentleman Scholar
Oct. 22 2014 5:54 PM May I Offer to Sharpen My Friends’ Knives? Or would that be rude?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 22 2014 4:27 PM Three Ways Your Text Messages Change After You Get Married
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 22 2014 5:27 PM The Slate Walking Dead Podcast A spoiler-filled discussion of Episodes 1 and 2.
  Arts
Culturebox
Oct. 22 2014 11:54 PM The Actual World “Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 5:33 PM One More Reason Not to Use PowerPoint: It’s The Gateway for a Serious Windows Vulnerability
  Health & Science
Wild Things
Oct. 22 2014 2:42 PM Orcas, Via Drone, for the First Time Ever
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.