Feeds

US space superloo claps out

13 astronauts share Russian ISS dunny

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

NASA's deluxe International Space Station toilet clapped out yesterday, meaning the 13 astronauts currently aboard the orbiting outpost will temporarily have to share the Russian "Waste Management System" and space shuttle Endeavour's facilities.

The US toilet aboard the ISS. Pic: NASAThe agency explains that Mike Barratt and Frank De Winne will today be "replacing parts of the Destiny laboratory’s Waste and Hygiene Compartment, or WHC" (pictured). It elaborates: "The parts likely were contaminated earlier today when the system’s dose pump failed after running for about 15 minutes. The pump introduces the correct amount of chemicals into the system to help separate liquids from solid waste. About six litres of pre-treated water may have flowed into the pump separator and other areas it does not belong, flooding the separator."

The failure of the $19m Russian-built lavatory could prove interesting if, as cosmonaut Gennady Padalka claimed back in March, Russian and American ISS residents are obliged to use their own "national toilets".

Padalka suggested the Americans were adopting an increasingly isolationist stance towards their facilities, and was unwilling to allow cosmonauts to relieve themselves in its new loo.

He did, though, insist that cosmonauts would ignore the squabble "no matter what officials decide". In the circumstances, this is good news for NASA crew.

While NASA ponders its cantankerous plumbing, the STS-127 mission crew is getting on with putting the finishing touches to Japan's Kibo laboratory. On Saturday, Tim Kopra and Dave Wolf installed the lab's Exposed Facility during a five-and-a-half hour spacewalk.

Wolf and Tom Marshburn will later today venture outside to transfer ISS spare parts from a cargo carrier, which was extracted yesterday from Endeavour's cargo bay. NASA has further details in its mission summary and press pack (both pdf). ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
FORGET the CLIMATE: FATTIES are a MUCH BIGGER problem - study
Fat guy? Drink or smoke? You're worse than a TERRORIST
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
Rosetta probot drilling DENIED: Philae has its 'LEG in the AIR'
NOT best position for scientific fulfillment
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
HUMAN DNA 'will be FOUND ON MOON' – rocking boffin Brian Cox
Crowdfund plan to stimulate Blighty's space programme
Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg
Off to the boozer? This delicacy might help mitigate the effects
I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm
'He is just being himself' says proud mum of larger-than-life physicist
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
LIFE, JIM? Comet probot lander found 'ORGANICS' on far-off iceball
That's it for God, then – if Comet 67P has got complex molecules
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
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?
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.