Astronauts on the Worldwide Area Station (ISS) recently encountered a probably hazardous state of affairs throughout a spacewalk once they got here throughout a blob of ammonia. This incident occurred after the detection of an exterior radiator leak earlier this month. Whereas it could sound like a scene from a sci-fi film, the blob of ammonia posed actual dangers.
Ammonia is a poisonous fuel/liquid identified for its corrosive properties, able to inflicting instant hurt to human tissues upon contact, significantly in excessive concentrations. Publicity to ammonia can result in eye, nostril, throat, and respiratory tract irritation, and in extreme circumstances, it can lead to blindness, lung injury, and even dying. Whereas astronauts on spacewalks are protected by their fits, the presence of ammonia contained in the house station might be harmful to these working inside.
In the course of the spacewalk, astronauts Oleg Kononenko and Nikolai Chub have been tasked with documenting and isolating a coolant leak from an exterior radiator that regulates the temperature in Russia’s Nauka laboratory module on the ISS.
The astronauts reconfigured valves to cease the ammonia provide to the exterior radiator, and it was throughout this course of that they noticed the ammonia blob. It’s believed that the blob fashioned from residual ammonia disturbed through the valve reconfiguration.
The astronauts, outfitted with cleansing instruments, took precautions to stop any poisonous materials from getting into the house station. Though considered one of Kononenko’s tethers turned contaminated on account of his proximity to the blob, it was safely left outdoors the ISS on the finish of the spacewalk.
The info collected by the astronauts shall be examined by Russian engineers on the bottom to find out the reason for the radiator leak and develop a plan for its restore. Regardless of the doubtless harmful encounter, the astronauts reentered the ISS with none contamination, and nobody was harmed through the incident.
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