SpaceX’s Crew-3 mission toilet from the Dragon Crew capsule still needs a final review from NASA to make sure that the last-minute fix solves the urine spilling issue that occurred during the first all-civilian crewed mission.
(Photo : by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Inspiration4 crew launches from Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida on September 15, 2021. – The Inspiration4 mission, the first to send an all-civilian crew to orbit, will venture deeper into space than the International Space Station.
As per The New York Times, the space exploration firm of billionaire Elon Musk is facing an unprecedented engineering challenge for its passenger spacecraft–the leaks in its toilet.
The latest problem from the Dragon Capsule of SpaceX is something that needs to be taken seriously. It comes as the NASA astronauts could not easily call for a plumber when their toilet gets leaky.
That said, SpaceX and the United States space agency are working together to ensure that the toilet inside the spacecraft would not leak. It should withstand both the temperature and environmental changes as it launches to the International Space Station or ISS.
SpaceX’s Toilet Issue
Although the toilet issue has been revealed to the public after the Inspiration4 mission splashed down back to the Earth, officials from the spaceflight did not go into details initially.
In fact, the mission commander of the first all-civilian flight of SpaceX, Jared Isaacman, previously told CNN in an interview that “nobody wants to get into the gory details.”
However, eventually, some officials of the flight further disclose that the issue with the toilet extended to the fans of the spacecraft.
On Oct. 25, a SpaceX official, Bill Gerstenmaier, revealed that the tube with urine broke during the Inspiration4 spaceflight, which splashed the human waste to the fan of the spacecraft.
Gerstenmaier further revealed that no one from the crew of the all-civilian mission noticed that the urine had spilled under the floor of the spacecraft. Instead, the mess was only discovered as the spaceflight concluded and got back to Earth.
SpaceX Fixes Toilet Issue
As such, last Sept. 21, the CEO and founder of SpaceX, Musk, vowed to fix the toilet of his spacecraft. In addition, the billionaire also announced some upgrades like the inclusion of both a WiFi connection and an oven.
Now, SpaceX announced that it has already finished fixing the leaking problem on the toilet of the passenger capsule ahead of its Crew-3 mission launch.
The engineers of SpaceX had to redesign the structure of the toilet to avoid urine spilling issues from happening during the firm’s fifth crew mission to the space.
However, according to the report by Huffington Post, SpaceX is still currently testing the new toilet design to ensure that it will be free from unwanted spills.
Gestenmaier further noted that the ongoing test should be finished before this week comes to an end.
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SpaceX’s Toilet and NASA
Before the NASA astronauts come aboard the passenger flight of the Dragon capsule, the space agency will still have to take a look at the toilet of the spacecraft.
The NY Times said in the same report that NASA is still expected to approve SpaceX’s last-minute new toilet design on Oct. 29.
Related Article: SpaceX Crew Dragon Capsule Offers an ‘Out-of-this-World’ View from the Toilet
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Written by Teejay Boris
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