NASA schedules spacewalks to fix ISS pump

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JOHNSON SPACE CENTER – Houston, we have a solution. Maybe.

Half of the International Space Station’s cooling systems shut down last week. Without getting too technical, a pump with a bad valve needs to be replaced.

The astronauts are safe for now, but they’re just kind of hanging out in a partially operating station.

So, NASA is sending two astronauts up to fix the problem in a series of urgent spacewalks. The first will happen Saturday. NASA will see how that goes, then schedule the next one and possibly a third.

With all of this going on, Orbital Sciences is having to hold off on its cargo resupply mission to the ISS that was scheduled for Thursday.

“We don’t have a launch date yet for our Orbital folks, but we believe we’ll get the pump change-out done before the beta cutout, and we’ll be ready to accept the Orbital guys just as soon as we can get the range set up and get ’em up to ISS,” said ISS Program Manager, Michael Suffredini.

With Christmas coming up, you gotta wonder if Santa’s reindeer fly in space.

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