As their spacecraft’s toilet is damaged, astronauts who will leave the International Space Station, SpaceX on Sunday will have to travel in diapers.
Megan McArthur, a NASA astronaut, described the situation as “unsuitable” but doable on Friday. From the time the hatches are closed until the splashdown on Monday morning. She and her three crewmates will spend 20 hours in their SpaceX capsule.
During a press conference from orbit, she said, “Spaceflight is full of many of tiny challenges.” “This is just one more thing we’ll have to deal with on our journey.” As a result, we’re not too concerned.”
Mission managers agreed to send McArthur. And the rest of her crew home before launching their replacements after a series of discussions on Friday. Bad weather and an undisclosed medical issue involving one of the crew had already delayed the SpaceX launch by more than a week.
The last six months have been intense up there, according to French astronaut Thomas Pesquet, who will return with McArthur. The astronauts performed a series of spacewalks to update the station’s electrical grid. Dealt with unintended thruster firings from parked Russian ships that sent the station spinning. And hosted a private Russian film team – a first for a space station.
Toilet Leak In SpaceX
They also had to cope with a toilet leak. Which led to the removal of panels in their SpaceX capsule and the discovery of urine lakes. When a tube came unglued and splashed urine beneath the floors during SpaceX’s private flight in September, the problem was initially noticed. The toilet aboard the capsule awaiting liftoff was undoubtedly repaired by SpaceX. But the one in orbit declare unfit.
Engineers found that the urine had not harmed the capsule’s structural stability and that it was safe to go back. The astronauts will have to rely on absorbent “undergarments,” as NASA defines them.
On the culinary front, the astronauts produced the first chili peppers in space. Which McArthur describes as “a wonderful mood boost.” They got a taste of their harvest last week when they added green and red pepper chunks to tacos.
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