From the reports it sounds as though the problem is limited to collection of liquid waste. To have a problem with collection of, errm , solid waste would be truly tragic. “To heck with your European Microbe Killer, I need a potty!”
Astronauts to deliver pump for balky space toilet
By MARCIA DUNN | 5-29-08
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) â€” NASA rushed Wednesday to get a special pump on board shuttle Discovery to fix a balky toilet at the international space station, as the launch countdown got under way.
The space station’s Russian-built toilet has been acting up for the past week. The three male residents have temporarily bypassed the problem, which involves urine collection, not solid waste.
Russian space officials are providing the pump to launch aboard Discovery on Saturday. The shuttle’s seven astronauts arrived at Kennedy Space Center a few hours ahead of the start of countdown Wednesday afternoon.
At the same time, a NASA employee was en route to Florida from Russia with the 1 1/2-foot-long pump and related hardware, which was packed in a diplomatic pouch and carried onto the commercial jetliner as 35 pounds of hand luggage.
To make room for the pump inside Discovery’s crammed cabin, NASA was going to pull out some wrenches, a spare part for the space station’s oxygen generator, and a microbe-killing device for use in the European space lab.