17 Apr 2018 12:47

ISS crew trying to repair air conditioning system - source

MOSCOW. April 17 (Interfax) - There has been a malfunction in the air conditioning system of the International Space Station (ISS)'s Russian segment, a source in the rocket and space industry told Interfax.

"A problem with the Freon pressure in the compressor of the Zvezda module's air conditioner occurred in late March. The first and second systems broke down one after another," the source said.

Russian cosmonauts are trying to repair the air conditioner with consultative support from the Mission Control Center. They have not succeeded so far.

Should they be unable to fix the problem for long, the Sun may raise the temperature inside the module. "The indoor temperature is normal for now," the source said.

In the opinion of Ivan Moiseyev, a leading expert of the Russian rocket and space industry, this is not a threatening situation.

"The station is a stable modular structure. All of its systems are quite reliable. There is nothing critical. The worst-case scenario is that the crew will have to move to another module," he said.

The ISS has had problems with life-sustenance systems before.

For instance, the U.S. segment of the station has suffered repeated ammonia leaks. There was a malfunction in the Water Recovery System (WRS), and the urine processor unit broke down in 2016.

The U.S. segment encountered another major problem in early 2016: the controller of the Carbon Dioxide Removal. Assembly (CDRA)'s motor ventilator broke in early 2016.

It took several months to repair a supply system, which broke in the U.S. segment of the ISS in November 2015.

The crew has been dealing with numerous toilet problems. The NASA Ground Control suggested that they put up an 'Out of Order' sign on the restroom door in 2009. The station's toilet was repaired several times in summer and fall of 2008.