MOSCOW, May 10 (RIA Novosti) – The ammonia leak detected in the International Space Station’s cooling system on Thursday took place in the US section of the station, a Russian Space Agency official told RIA Novosti on Friday.
“Yes, there was indeed an ammonia leak. It took place in the American section of the station, and it is not critical. Unfortunately, it is not the first time that something like this has happened. The Russian section of the station and all other parts of it are working normally,” Alexei Krasnov, from the Russian Space Agency Roscosmos told RIA Novosti.
Ammonia is used to cool the station’s power channels that provide electricity to station systems. Each solar array has its own independent cooling loop.
This ammonia loop is the same one that spacewalkers attempted to troubleshoot a leak on during a spacewalk on November 1, 2012. It is not yet known whether this increased ammonia flow comes from the same leak, which at the time, was not visible.
According to the space agency, the leak rate could result in a shutdown of this cooling loop in about 48 hours.