Saturday, June 23, 2018
News Roundup

Ready to spacewalk? NASA astronauts to fix pump on space station

It's official: NASA astronauts will have to step out into space to fix a faulty cooling loop at the International Space Station. Rick Mastracchio and Michael Hopkins will take on the task, which will probably take two spacewalks and could stretch to three.

The spacewalks, scheduled for Dec. 21, 23 and 25, come after engineers at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston tried fiddling with a broken valve in a pump in an ammonia cooling loop to figure out what exactly was wrong with it. The pump was shut down last week after it failed to regulate the ammonia levels and it got too cold, NASA officials said.

The space station has two such cooling loops, each of which help keep the flying facility from overheating (because it's hard to get heat to properly dissipate in space, NASA officials said). Vital systems in the European and Japanese modules were moved over to the other cooling loop, but a few experiments were put off, according to a previous video interview with Mastracchio.

Rather than focus on fixing the valve, the astronauts will simply replace the entire pump - the International Space Station has three spares on board, said NASA spokesman Josh Byerly.

Each spacewalk will take several hours, and the astronauts will have to work deliberately, Byerly said.

"These pumps have ammonia in the lines so you got to be pretty careful with that," Byerly said in an interview. "Ammonia can be pretty irritating and that's not really something we want to get on an astronaut."

The spacewalks would be the first for the United States since Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano nearly drowned in space this summer. The European Space Agency astronaut's helmet began to fill with water while he floated outside the space station during a spacewalk.

The suits have since been re-examined, Byerly said.

"They're comfortable doing the spacewalk," Byerly said. "They've done a lot of work on the spacesuit."

The faulty cooling loop situation also delayed an unmanned resupply launch by Orbital Sciences Corp. to January, Byerly said.

Comments
Rodney Page’s takeaways from Rays-Yankees

Rodney Page’s takeaways from Rays-Yankees

1. SS Willy Adames had a nice night, and there appear to be many more in his future. He had two hits, an RBI and an inning-ending leaping catch on a line drive by Didi Gregorius in the fifth.2. DH C.J. Cron needs to shake things up. Take a different ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Marc Anthony pays a visit to the Trop

Marc Anthony pays a visit to the Trop

By Allana BarefieldTimes Staff WriterST. PETERSBURG — Latin pop star Marc Anthony visited Tropicana Field on Friday to see his beloved Yankees play the Rays.Anthony spent nearly an hour on the field before the game as fans and players surrounde...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Rays journal: Daniel Robertson’s return crowds up infield

Rays journal: Daniel Robertson’s return crowds up infield

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays reinstated INF Daniel Robertson from the 10-day disabled list (left hamstring strain). To make room, RHP Austin Pruitt was sent to Triple-A Durham."It's out of my mind. I don't think about (the hamstring) when I'm bend...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Brady Singer, Gators eliminated by Arkansas at CWS

Brady Singer, Gators eliminated by Arkansas at CWS

Times wiresOMAHA, Neb.  —Defending champion Florida failed to win a third straight elimination game, losing to Arkansas 5-2 Friday night and departing the College World Series.The Gators (49-21) had to win to force a rematch. The Razorback...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Rays hang on for a 2-1 win over Yankees

Rays hang on for a 2-1 win over Yankees

ST. PETERSBURG – Many times this season the Rays' strategy of opening the game with a short reliever and using the bullpen to finish hasn't had much success.Friday wasn't one of those nights.A total of six pitchers held the Yankees and their va...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Rowdies fall to Penn FC

Rowdies fall to Penn FC

By Darek SharpTimes CorrespondentST. PETERSBURG — For the second time this season, Penn FC got two goals from a former Rowdie that led the way to a win over Tampa Bay.Lucky Mkosana doubled his season total Friday in a comeback 2-1 win before an...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Ronald Darby’s friend: Jameis Winston got into second Uber ride alone

Ronald Darby’s friend: Jameis Winston got into second Uber ride alone

New details emerged Friday night about the Uber ride in Arizona in March 2016 that led to Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston's three-game suspension to start the upcoming season, including the fact that Winston was in a car that night with a former Vand...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Tampa boy, 14, shot on bike, police asking for help

Tampa boy, 14, shot on bike, police asking for help

TAMPA — Police want to know who shot 14-year-old De’Nico Thomas after a night of playing video games.Thomas was at a friend’s home Wednesday night and walking home when Tampa police said he was shot, resulting in life-threatening injuries.As he faces...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Carlton: That snake-like thing living under your refrigerator? It’s a skink. Welcome to Florida

Carlton: That snake-like thing living under your refrigerator? It’s a skink. Welcome to Florida

At first I thought it was a snake.Because wouldn’t it be typically Florida to come home and find a snake poking its nose out from under your stove? Which wouldn’t be a problem or anything. I would just have to move out is all.But no, the creature tha...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Man, 78, proposes to newfound love at ‘senior’ prom in Riverview

Man, 78, proposes to newfound love at ‘senior’ prom in Riverview

RIVERVIEWJaime Rodriguez, 78, popped the question Friday morning but skipped the "getting down on one knee" part."If I get on my knee, you’d have to help me," he told the emcee a moment before asking Luz Rivera to marry him.Rivera, 69, smiled and sai...
Updated: 8 hours ago