NASA has announced that the International Space Station has suffered a small electrical fault that’s reduced the number of power channels available to the astronauts aboard.
The fault doesn’t put the astronauts at risk, but does reduce the available power channel options from 8 to 7. The damage was caused by a short circuit on equipment on the station’s framework, according to the Associated Press.
The short tripped a current switching device in one of the power channels, making it unusable. Following the incident, the astronauts have switched systems relying on the affected power channel to one of the remaining seven.
There aren’t appropriate spares aboard the space station to carry out a repair right now. Instead, NASA plans to send spare parts aboard a SpaceX delivery that’s scheduled for early next year. Another supply modules, Orbital ATK, is set to refresh ISS supplies in two weeks time, but it’s too late to add to its payload.
A similar incident occurred in 2014, and the subsequent repair required a spacewalk. [AP]
Image by NASA