Feeds

ISS toilet spares stowed and good to go

Discovery relief mission blasts off tomorrow

High performance access to file storage

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). ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Fancy joining Reg hack on quid-a-day challenge?
Recruiting now for charity starvation diet
Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco
Standing in the corner, big pointy 'D' hats
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning
Power levels up 70 per cent as the rover keeps on truckin'
KILLER ROBOTS, DNA TAMPERING and PEEPING CYBORGS: the future looks bright!
Americans optimistic about technology despite being afraid of EVERYTHING
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.