Feeds

ISS toilet spares stowed and good to go

Discovery relief mission blasts off tomorrow

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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). ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
NASA rover Curiosity drills HOLE in MARS 'GOLF COURSE'
Joins 'traffic light' and perfect stony sphere on the Red Planet
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
Relive the death of Earth over and over again in Extinction Game
Apocalypse now, and tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that ...
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.