Theas early as this weekend will be stuck using diapers on the way home. CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The astronauts leaving the International as early as this weekend will be stuck using diapers on the way home because of their capsule’s broken toilet. Megan McArthur described Friday’s situation as “suboptimal” but manageable. “Spaceflight is full of little challenges,” she said during a news conference from orbit. “This is just one more that we’ll encounter and take care of in our mission. So we’re not too worried about it.”
The trip home can take up to 20 hours.
Mission managers could decide later Friday whether toin their SpaceX capsule before launching their replacements. That by bad weather and an undisclosed medical issue involving one crew. French astronaut Thomas Pesquet told reporters that the have been intense up there. The astronauts conducted a series of spacewalks to upgrade the station’s power grid, by docked Russian vehicles that sent the station into brief spins, and hosted a private Russian film crew — a space station first.
They also had to deal with the toilet leak, pulling up panels in their SpaceX capsule and discovering pools of urine. The problem was first noted duringin September when a tube came unglued and spilled urine beneath the floorboards. SpaceX fixed the toilet on the capsule awaiting liftoff but deemed the one in orbit unusable. Engineers determined that the pill had not been structurally compromised by the urine and was safe for the ride back.
On the culinary side, the astronauts grew the first chile peppers in space — “a nice morale boost,” according to McArthur. They got to sample their harvest in the past week, adding pieces of green and red peppers to tacos. “They have a nice spiciness to them, aof a lingering burn,” she said. “Some found that more troublesome than others.” Also returning with McArthur and Pesquet: NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough and Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide. SpaceX on April 23.
Their capsule is certified for a maximum of 210 days in space, and with Friday marking their 196th day aloft, NASA is eager to get them back as soon as possible. After their departure, one American and two Russians will remain on the Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.. While it would be better if their replacements arrived first — to share tips on — Kimbrough said the remaining NASA astronaut would fill in the newcomers. The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical