Water heater cause of smoke on ISS

2014-06-12 07:26
The International Space Station. (Paolo Nespoli, Nasa, AP)

The International Space Station. (Paolo Nespoli, Nasa, AP)

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Cape Canaveral - A galley water heater is being blamed for smoke aboard the International Space Station.

Russian astronauts reported smoke and a burning smell in their main compartment on Tuesday. There wasn't enough smoke to activate the alarms or to warrant the use of masks by the six-man crew. The smoke came from a vent and dissipated within a half hour or so.

Commander Steven Swanson said there was only a small amount of smoke and everyone was fine.

The astronauts quickly disconnected the electric water-heating unit and activated air purifiers in the Zvezda compartment, Russian for star.

On Wednesday, the astronauts installed a spare unit. Nasa says it's working normally.

A similar problem occurred in 2009.

The astronauts say they didn't see anything unusual with the removed device.

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