Feeds

US space superloo claps out

13 astronauts share Russian ISS dunny

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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). ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
China building SUPERSONIC SUBMARINE that travels in a BUBBLE
Shanghai to San Fran in two hours would be a trick, though
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
EOS, Lockheed to track space junk from Oz
WA facility gets laser-eyes out of the fog
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
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.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.