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NASA says computer problem blamed for ammonia leak false alarm at ISS

January 15, 2015, 11:13 UTC+3
The final conclusions on the reason behind the problem will be made within a week
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© AP Photo/NASA - Douglas Wheelock

MOSCOW, January 15. /TASS/. Incorrect indications of an on-board computer at the US segment of the International Space Station (ISS) are mainly blamed for a false alarm that suggested ammonia leak on Wednesday, NASA's top representative in Russia said.

“The main version is that computer indications were incorrect. The reasons behind the wrong indications are being studied. The alarm over the ammonia leak was false. The computer erroneously showed a reduction in the amount of ammonia which can be assessed as its leak,” Sean Fuller said.

Tests conducted by the crew later failed to confirm the ammonia leak, he said. Experts believe that the computer showed wrong indications on ammonia due to an incorrect work of a card.

The crew will continue their normal working day, while ground services will be fixing the problem. “[The computer] has been restarted and now everything is working as normal and they will further examine what exactly happened,” he said.

The final conclusions on the reason behind the incorrect work will be made within a week.

The reports of a possible ammonia leak forced the astronauts at the ISS to spend over 10 hours in the Russian segment on Wednesday, before returning back to the US segment of the station.

Currently the ISS has a crew of six: Russia’s Alexander Samokutyayev, Anton Shkaplerov and Yelena Serova, the United States’ Barry Wilmore (commander) and Terry Virts, and the European Space Agency’s astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti.

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