Musk humiliated as SpaceX’s tourist flight toilet breaks and sprays contents everywhere | Science | News
Passengers on board got a nasty surprise when the toilet tucked away in the Crew Dragon spaceship’s ceiling broke loose in an area beneath the spaceship’s cabin floor and released its contents onto a fan. The fan is used to create suction for the toilet, which is needed in space where there’s microgravity. This means there is no force pulling waste in any one direction. The horrific result of this disastrous malfunction was that the fan then splattered out urine all over the spaceship’s hidden compartment.
But luckily, while this toilet malfunction happened in microgravity, the passengers on board the flight are said to have avoided embarrassment.
Those aboard the spacecraft included billionaire Jared Isaacman, geoscientist Dr Sian Proctor, physician-assistant Hayley Arceneaux, and engineer Chris Sembroski.
Mr Musk must be relieved, as SpaceX representatives claim that the passengers onboard the Inspiration4 mission did not notice the issue.
SpaceX official Bill Gerstenmaier said in a press conference Monday: “We didn’t really even notice it, the crew didn’t even notice it, until we got back.
“When we got the vehicle back, we looked under the floor and saw the fact that there was contamination underneath the floor of Inspiration4.”
But some panic was mustered up as a result of the malfunction.
A mechanical issue with the toilet fan set off an alarm while Inspiration4 was in orbit, prompting the passengers to troubleshoot, Mr Isaacman told CNN Business back in September.
But the billionaire has not revealed how the problem was resolved.
With the rocket coming back down to Earth, SpaceX technicians quickly opened the cabin floor to investigate the fan issue.
That’s when they were met with the ghastly discovery.
Mr Musk has now taken to Twitter to reassure future passengers that this will not happen again as the toilet system will get upgraded.
SpaceX is now redesigning the leaky tube beneath Crew Dragon’s floor for its next launch.
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It is waiting to carry them back to Earth in the next few weeks, but it also had the same plumbing system as the capsule that suffered the leak.
SpaceX requested that the astronauts on the space station to investigate the compartment beneath the floor by looking at camera images, and low and behold, they had the same issue as Inspiration4.
Gerstenmaier said: “Yes, there was some indication of some contamination under the floor.”
Having been in orbit for almost six months, the urine could have been floating around the spacecraft for that whole time.
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