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The Nation Today

Astronauts attempt to fix ammonia leak

FLORIDA

CAPE CANAVERAL — Astronauts made a rare, hastily planned spacewalk to replace a pump outside the International Space Station in hopes of plugging an ammonia leak. Mission Control said it appeared as though the leak may have been plugged, although additional monitoring in the coming days, if not weeks, will be needed before declaring a victory. Christopher Cassidy and Thomas Marshburn installed the new pump after removing an old one suspected of spewing flakes of frozen ammonia coolant two days earlier. The leak, though significant, posed no threat to the crew.

MICHIGAN

Jeep SUVs recalled for shift problem

DETROIT — Chrysler is recalling 469,000 Jeep SUVs worldwide because they can shift into neutral without warning on startup. The recall affects 2005 to 2010 Grand Cherokees and 2006 to 2010 Commanders. US safety regulators say cracks in a circuit board can cause a faulty signal as the SUVs are being started. If the vehicles shift into neutral they can roll away. Chrysler says the problem has caused 26 crashes and two injuries. Chrysler will notify owners, and dealers will update software at no cost to take care of the problem. Chrysler found cracks in a circuit board that turns the four-wheel-drive system on and off.

NEW YORK

More park areas will be smoke free

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ALBANY — Smoking will be banned in more places within New York state parks this summer. The governor’s office announced last week that the state is expanding the number of smoke-free areas at state parks, pools, and historic sites, including many of New York’s popular beaches. All state parks in New York City are also entirely smoke-free. Violators of the rules can face fines of up to $250. Smoking will still be allowed in most campsites, parking lots, and open-air picnic areas.

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