International Space Station Springs a Leak

Astronauts not in danger: NASA
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted May 10, 2013 2:04 AM CDT
Updated May 10, 2013 3:00 AM CDT
This May 23, 2011 file photo released by NASA shows the International Space Station at an altitude of approximately 220 miles above the Earth.   (AP Photo/NASA, Paolo Nespoli, File)

(Newser) – The International Space Station is leaking ammonia coolant used to maintain its solar-panel power gear, reports. NASA says astronauts are "in no danger," but the situation could affect the station's power capabilities. Crew members spotted the frozen ammonia leaking from from a coolant loop yesterday. A similar leak was observed in 2007, but a spacewalk last year was believed to have fixed it. The new leak "is in the same area, but we don't know whether it's the same leak," says a NASA rep.

Experts are still trying to figure out the exact location of the leak. In the meantime, Commander Chris Hadfield has offered a somewhat reassuring tweet, picked up by the Atlantic Wire: "It is a serious situation, but between crew and experts on the ground, it appears to have been stabilized. Tomorrow we find out for certain." (Read more International Space Station stories.)

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