Science Focus - the home of BBC Science Focus Magazine
Is there air conditioning on the ISS? © NASA

Is there air conditioning on the ISS?

Published: 06th April, 2016 at 14:00
Subscribe to BBC Science Focus Magazine and get 6 issues for just £9.99

The International Space Station is exposed to temperatures of -157°C to 121°C - let's hope someone brought a coat...

Asked by: Carol Moore, Poole

Yes. The ISS is exposed to temperatures of -157°C to 121°C. It either radiates heat in the Earth’s shade or warms up in strong sunlight. Like a giant hot water tank, it is lagged with layers of Mylar insulation. Inside, water pipes absorb excess heat from the crew and their equipment. Via a heat exchanger, the water warms up an ammonia-filled radiator on the outside. With its low freezing point, the ammonia stays liquid while releasing heat into space.


Get more fascinating Q&As from BBC Focus magazine by following @sciencefocusQA

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Sponsored content