Cooling Glitch Sets Off Alarms on Space Station


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(Aug. 1) -- Alarms woke up the six astronauts circling the globe in the International Space Station after a cooling system broke down, but NASA said today that the crew was not in any danger.

"It's pretty clear that we're going to want to have a course of action to take as quickly as possible. This is not something we want to linger over," the NASA spokesman at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Rob Navias, told Reuters.

If attempts to fix the problem onboard are not successful, NASA said in a statement that two spacewalks might be needed this week to replace a pump module that sends ammonia through the station's two cooling systems.

After the first failure of one of the cooling systems on Saturday a crew member set to work to fix it so that the other system, which serves as a backup, didn't power down as well. The cooling loops serve to cut down on heat generated by equipment on the station, a $100 billion project supported by 16 countries.

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