July 19th, 2009 19:26 EST
Space Station Toilet Breaks Down
"The new toilet in the U.S. Destiny laboratory module aboard the International Space Station, currently hosting a combined crew of 13, malfunctioned today.
Flight controllers told the astronauts to use toilets in the Russian part of the station and aboard the shuttle Endeavour until the problem is resolved, reports CBS News space analyst Bill Harwood.
`When you get a second, if you could put an out-of-service note on the WHC (waste and hygiene compartment) and advise the crew members that station crew members will have to use the (Russian toilet) and shuttle crew members on the shuttle until further notice,` Hal Getzelman radioed from Mission Control." http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/07/19/tech/main5173212.shtml
The astronauts onboard the International Space Station conduct experiments in the fields of biology, physics, astronomy, and meteorology.
The crew includes scientists and physicists primarily from the United States, Japan and Russia. These highly trained professionals are responsible for operating and maintaining very expensive scientific equipment
But what the Space Station really needs is a good plumber -- this is not the first time that a toilet onboard the giant spacecraft has broken down.
It might really strain relations between the United States and Russia if the Americans are forced to use the Russian toilet for a long period of time. The Russians can only take so much crap before they really get p-oed.
Only a bureaucracy like NASA would call the crapper a "Waste and Hygiene Compartment". But whatever you call the toilet, the astronauts are going to be in serious sh** if they don`t repair it promptly.
Let`s hope that the space john is repaired quickly so the eggheads onboard can concentrate on more esoteric problems like investigating the physics of fluids in microgravity.