New details have emerged about the toilet on SpaceX’s Inspiration 4 craft, which broke down when all civilian crews were previously in orbit.
Last month it was revealed that the malfunctioning toilet had caused alarm in the middle of the trip, but SpaceX and the mission’s billionaire lead Jacob Isaacman were ready to reveal the “grave details.”
SpaceX vice president William Gerstenmaier, who works for NASA, said it was now discovered that a tube had come off the fan and floor without sticking urine during the flight.
The same problem was recently discovered inside the Dragon capsule on the space station, he told reporters Monday night.
“We didn’t even really notice it, the crew didn’t even notice it until we got back,” Gerstenmaier said, as reported. new York Times. “When we got the vehicle back, we looked under the floor and noticed the fact that there was contamination under the floor of the Inspiration 4.
However, last month’s report contradicted Gerstenmayer’s statement, revealing that the bad toilet caused alarm in the middle of the trip. Jacob Isaacman, the mission’s billionaire lead, said he was unwilling to reveal the “grave details”.
Gerstenmaier also noted that there were “some signs of contamination under the floor”, raising health concerns because urine is mixed with the corrosive compound oxone to eliminate ammonia in the space.
In this instance, “fortunately, or, on purpose, we chose an aluminum alloy that is very insensitive to corrosion”, Gerstenmaier said.
As a permanent improvement, SpaceX has welded on the urine-flushing tube that is inside the company’s latest capsule, named Endurance by its US-German crew. NASA has not been able to complete the review scheduled at the last minute.
Gerstenmaier said that for the Dragon capsule in orbit, less urine accumulated under the floor panels than for the one that carried a billionaire and three others on a three-day flight. That’s because the NASA-led crew spent only one day living in it before arriving at the space station.
SpaceX is conducting tests to make sure the liquid spilled during the past six months has not weakened the orbiting capsule, Gerstenmaier said. Any structural damage could put astronauts at risk during their flight back to Earth next month. He said the final test should be completed by the end of this week.
Meanwhile, a German and three NASA astronauts take off from Houston on Tuesday for the countdown. Like their predecessors, they will spend six months on the space station.
This will be SpaceX’s fourth launch of NASA astronauts and its fifth passenger flight overall. After the shuttle fleet was retired in 2011, NASA turned to SpaceX and Boeing for transportation to and from the space station. American astronauts rode Russian rockets until SpaceX took over last year.
Additional reporting by The Associated Press
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /