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A toilet tube on SpaceX's Crew Dragon spaceship broke and sprayed pee under the floor during its first tourist flight

Added 10-27-21 12:14:02am EST - “SpaceX's passengers were safe from their own urine, since it never entered the cabin. But astronauts discovered the same issue on another Crew Dragon.” - Businessinsider.com


Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Businessinsider.com: “A toilet tube on SpaceX's Crew Dragon spaceship broke and sprayed pee under the floor during its first tourist flight”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

SpaceX's first tourist flight seemed to go swimmingly last month, but there was a hidden problem beneath the floorboards.

That issue came from the bathroom — the toilet tucked away in the Crew Dragon spaceship's ceiling, which is shrouded in proprietary secrecy. A tube carrying urine from that toilet broke loose in an area beneath the spaceship's cabin floor, releasing its contents onto a fan. That fan is used to create suction for the toilet, which is necessary because when you're doing in microgravity, there's no force pulling waste in any one direction. The fan then sprayed the pee all over the hidden compartment.

Even though all of this happened in microgravity, the pee didn't drift into the cabin. That kept it away from the spaceship's four passengers: billionaire Jared Isaacman, geoscientist Dr. Sian Proctor, physician-assistant Hayley Arceneaux, and engineer Chris Sembroski. While they orbited Earth for three days, on a mission called Inspiration4, they didn't notice the issue, SpaceX representatives told reporters on Monday.

"We didn't really even notice it, the crew didn't even notice it, until we got back," SpaceX official Bill Gerstenmaier said in a press conference Monday, according to The New York Times. "When we got the vehicle back, we looked under the floor and saw the fact that there was contamination underneath the floor of Inspiration4."

A mechanical issue with the toilet fan had, however, set off an alarm while Inspiration4 was in orbit, prompting the passengers to troubleshoot, Isaacman told CNN Business in September. He did not reveal how they solved the problem. Upon the spaceship's return to Earth, SpaceX technicians opened the cabin floor to investigate the fan issue. That's when they discovered the pee leak.


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