Astronauts on the International Space Station have recently had to deal with a curly problem – their toilet stopped working
Astronauts on the International Space Station have recently had to deal with a curly problem – their toilet stopped working. Whilst there is a single toilet aboard the station, it had separate systems for dealing with solid and liquid waste products. The liquid waste pump had started to malfunction causing astronauts to resort to more primitive methods to eliminate their urine (plastic bags and tape – yep very high tech).
This week the astronauts’ misery finally ended when the shuttle Discovery dropped by delivering a new pump system.
The problem with the toilet, while serious, had become a focus for jokes as the mission approached. When Commander Mark Kelly of the Navy, the commander of the shuttle mission, first entered the station after docking on Monday, he asked, “You looking for a plumber?”
Plumbing aside, the main goal of the Discovery mission was installing the largest portion of a Japanese science module onto the station. That new room for the station, known as Kibo, or “hope,” was opened by Akihiko Hoshide, a member of the crew representing the Japanese space agency, Hoshide described it as “a great moment for the Japanese folks” and said that it has taken 20 years to create the module and get it to space. “We have a new ‘hope’ on the space station”.
Source: New York Times
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