SpaceX to fix toilet leaks before next launch



How many rocket scientists does it take to fix a space toilet?

SpaceX is making sure the commodes its rocket won’t again interfere with astronauts’ next trip to the cosmos.

During the company’s first all-civilian launch last month, a urine tube came unglued, spilling the bodily liquid onto fans and beneath the floor panels, according to William Gerstenmaier, a SpaceX vice president who once worked for NASA.

The same issue was found inside the Dragon capsule docked at the International Space Station, he said, according to a release by Elon Musk’s company.

Hundreds of workers sprang into action to prevent any zero-gravity discharge on Endurance, the Dragon capsule that is set to launch at Kennedy Space Center Sunday morning, officials said.

William Gerstenmaier said the unglued urine tube led to spillage of the bodily fluid.
NASA via AP, File

SpaceX welded the urine-flushing tube on Endurance, and the fix was being reviewed by NASA.

“For Crew-3, we’ve fixed this problem in the tank by essentially making an all-welded structure with no longer joints in there that can come unglued and become disconnected,” Gerstenmaier said.

Commander Raja Chari, a NASA astronaut, has “complete confidence” in the repairs, he said Tuesday, noting that hundreds of people were working on fixing the issue.

Crew 3 astronauts Matthias Maurer, Tom Marshburn, Raja Chari and Kayla Barron gather after arriving at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. on Oct. 26, 2021.
John Raoux/AP

SpaceX is investigating whether the spilled urine on the capsule that has been in space for six months did not weaken the rocket, which could pose dangers to astronauts returning to Earth in November, Gerstenmaier said.

With Post wires


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