Feeds

ISS toilet spares stowed and good to go

Discovery relief mission blasts off tomorrow

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Relief is at hand for the cross-legged ISS crew in the form of spares for the clapped-out Russian ASU toilet, which have been stowed aboard Space Shuttle Discovery due to blast off tomorrow.

Technician loading ISS toilet spares onto DiscoveryThe parts (seen here during loading), including a pump, will hopefully allow astronauts to take a bother-free leak. While the ISS's main toilet still works for solid waste, it requires "additional steps for liquid waste" and needs ten minutes maintenance by two crew members after three flushes, according to NASA.

The agency mercifully doesn't go into details, and deputy International Space Station program manager Kirk Shireman simply offered: "It is very inconvenient at this time because it requires a lot of manual intervention."

The outlook for Saturday's Space Shuttle launch (slated for 21:02 GMT) is favourable, with "80 per cent chance of acceptable [weather] conditions at launch time". LeRoy Cain, chairman of the Mission Management Team, confirmed: "The vehicle and the crew and the weather and the [launch] team are all ready to go."

Discovery's principal task on its 14-day STS-124 mission is to deliver the second consignment of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Kibo laboratory, constisting of the large Japanese Pressurized Module and robotic arm system.

The spacecraft will also drop off new ISS crew member Greg Chamitoff and bring back Flight Engineer Garrett Reisman at the end of a three-month stay aboard the outpost. NASA has a mission summary here (pdf). ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Flamewars in SPAAACE: cooler fires hint at energy efficiency
Experiment aboard ISS shows we should all chill out for cleaner engines
Brit amateur payload set to complete full circle around PLANET EARTH
Ultralight solar radio tracker in glorious 25,000km almost-space odyssey
NASA Mars rover FINALLY equals 1973 Soviet benchmark
Yet to surpass ancient Greek one, however
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.