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NASA debates space station spacewalk for broken cooling loop, cargo flight delayed another day

Tuesday - 12/17/2013, 12:08pm  ET

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida -- Spacewalk or space delivery?

That's the question facing NASA as space station flight controllers try to revive a crippled cooling loop.

Half of the International Space Station's cooling system shut down last Wednesday because of a bad valve. NASA is attempting to regulate the temperature of the disabled cooling line, with some success. The faulty valve had made that line too cold.

The two Americans on board may need to make spacewalking repairs, beginning Thursday. That's the same day an unmanned rocket is supposed to hoist a space station cargo ship from Wallops Island, Virginia. NASA expects to decide today which should take priority -- repairs or restocking.

Orbital Sciences' Cygnus cargo ship has already been delayed a couple days due to the cooling problem in orbit.


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