Astronauts leaving the International Space Station this weekend will have to wear a diaper on their flight home because their capsule toilet is broken.
On Friday, NASA astronaut Megan MacArthur described the situation as “suboptimal” but manageable.
“Space journey is full of many small challenges,” he said from orbit during a press conference. “This is just another one that we are going to bring and we will do on our mission. So we are not too worried.”
The flight from the International Space Station to Earth takes about 20 hours.
Mission managers can decide within hours whether to bring MacArthur and his three companions into the SpaceX capsule before launching their replacements. This launch was postponed for more than a week due to bad weather. A medical problem for one of the crew members has not been identified.
French astronaut Thomas Pesquet told reporters that the past six months have been intense there. The astronauts conducted a series of extravehicular activities to improve the station’s electrical grid, encountered unintended start-ups of docked Russian vehicles that caused the station to spin briefly, and welcomed a special Russian camera crew — an unprecedented situation for the station. space.
very They had to deal with a leaky toilet, when they lifted the panels on the SpaceX capsule and discovered puddles of urine. The problem was discovered during a SpaceX private flight in September, when a tube came out and urine leaked under the floorboards. SpaceX repaired the capsule’s toilet while waiting for liftoff, but said the toilet in orbit was unusable.
The engineers determined that the urine did no structural damage to the capsule and was safe for the return trip.
culinary aspect, Astronauts harvested the first hot pepper in space. According to MacArthur, “good spirits.” Last week, they got a taste of old when they added hot green and red peppers to their tacos.
“They had a rich, spicy flavor, and a bit of a long bite,” he said. “For some it was more problematic than for others.”
He will also return with MacArthur and Bisquet, NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough and Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshied. SpaceX sent them into space on April 23. Their capsule is certified for a maximum of 210 days in space, and on Friday it will complete its 196-day mission, so NASA is eager to return as quickly as possible.
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