Decon in Space: Extra Precautions Taken After Toxic Ammonia Sprayed on Suits During Spacewalk

NASA astronaut and Expedition 64 Flight Engineer Michael Hopkins is pictured during a spacewalk on March 13, 2021, servicing communications gear on the outside of the International Space Station’s Columbus laboratory module. Credits: NASA

Spacewalking astronauts had to take extra safety precautions Saturday after possibly getting toxic ammonia on their suits from the International Space Station’s external cooling system.

Victor Glover and Mike Hopkins had no trouble removing and venting a couple of old jumper cables to remove any ammonia still lingering in the lines. But so much ammonia spewed out of the first hose that Mission Control worried some of the frozen white flakes might have gotten on their suits.

NASA did not want any ammonia getting inside the space station and contaminating the cabin atmosphere, and took extra precautions to reduce risk of ammonia contact.

Read the story at Associated Press

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