temporary interruption of SOLAR due to partial cooling failure

On Wednesday December 11, the pump module on one of the space station’s two external cooling loops automatically shut down when it reached pre-set temperature limits. These loops circulate ammonia outside the station to keep both internal and external equipment cool.

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The flight control teams worked to get the cooling loop back up and running, and they suspect a flow control valve actually inside the pump module itself might not be functioning correctly. Now, (December 13) the troubleshooting continues and due to the limitations on energy use, scientific experiments in the European COLUMBUS module had to be put in energy saving modes or shut down. This is the case for SOLAR which is now in passive mode, the nominal operations will resume as soon as the cooling system is again fully functional.