Cooling-line trouble forcing space walks
NASA has ordered up a series of urgent space walks to fix a cooling line at the International Space Station.
Station managers decided Tuesday to send two American astronauts out as soon as possible to replace a pump with a bad valve. It's a major job that will require three walks - Saturday, Monday, and next Wednesday.
Half of the cooling system shut down last Wednesday, forcing the six-member crew - three Russians, two Americans, and one Japanese - to turn off all nonessential equipment.
The station's cooling system is critical for dispelling heat from onboard equipment.
While the astronauts are safe and comfortable, NASA wants the system back at full strength, in case of another failure.
This is the same pump that was replaced by a pair of spacewalking astronauts in 2010. Three space walks were needed then. - AP
Sochi delegation set
Former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano will lead the U.S. delegation to the opening ceremonies of the Olympics in Sochi, Russia. The White House says tennis champ Billie Jean King and U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul will join the delegation. Gay-rights groups had urged the administration to use the selection to make a point about Russia's treatment of gays and lesbians. King is gay. - AP
November was another hot one for the planet. Scientists at Cape Canaveral, Fla., reported Tuesday that last month was the warmest November since record-keeping began in 1880. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says average temperature, for water and land surfaces combined, was 56.6 degrees, 1.4 degrees above the century average. It was the 37th straight November with above- average temperatures. - AP