Orbital Roundup

So, how's it going up there in orbit then?

Well, you could say it's going good... a few minor issues like exploding grease guns, a bad urine processor and a tool bag that has now joined the ranks of orbital debris... but other than that it is actually going good!

On the first spacewalk, during which the astronauts were charged with cleaning debris and greasing up one of the SARJ joints which has been inoperative since last year, one of the grease guns exploded inside a toolbag. Astronaut Heidemarie Stehanyshyn Piper then had to clean up the mess, including the grease on her gloves, with some of the grease wipes intended for cleaning the SARJ. As she was distracted by the cleanup, an internal compartment of the toolbag slipped out and floated off into space. Heidi decided against retrieving the bag, as it would have made her into orbital debris too.

Meanwhile, inside the ISS, a brand spanking new water processing system was installed that will provide the fresh drinking water for the 6 person permanent crew that will mark the expansion of operations at the orbiting science station next year. Designed on teh ground, the zero-g environment provided a little too much freedom for the urine centrifuge, which began shutting down due to excessive vibration. A little on-orbit maintenance/redesign was required, and after adding dampers and tightening restraints, the ISS is now no longer able to reboost into a higher orbit using urine, as it is all needed for drinking water! Eeeuuuwww!!

So, they seriously have to drink old urine then?

Yes! Actually though, the process is so efficient that the water comes out cleaner and purer than the majority of drinking water we consume here on Earth.

Until next time, Happy Spacing Spacers!
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Anonymous said...

Oy, SpaceHead... how about some Space News then!