SpaceX reportedly experienced some serious bathroom issues prior to the aerospace manufacturer’s first private launch in September 2021.
AP reports that SpaceX Vice President, William Gerstenmaier told reporters that a tube in the company’s Dragon capsule came unglued. This resulted in urine spilling into fans and beneath the floor. The Vice President also revealed that the same problem occurred inside the Dragon capsule at the space station as well.
SpaceX also reports as a permanent fix it will weld on the urine-flushing tube that’s inside its newest capsule, Endurance. The company’s U.S.-German crew is assisting in fixing the issue. Although NASA is not done with inspecting the last-minute fix, NASA astronaut Raja Chari, who is the spacecraft commander, states that he is confident in the repairs.
The SpaceX Vice President revealed to reporters as for the Dragon capsule that’s currently in orbit, less urine was pooled beneath the floor panels than last month’s launch. NASA-led crew notably only spent a day living in the capsule before they arrived at the international space station.
Gerstenmaier went on to add that SpaceX is now conducting tests to make sure the urine did not weaken the capsule during the past six months. NASA will be conducting final tests later this week.
NASA Reveals Astronaut Changes to SpaceX Crew-5 Mission to International Space Station
Earlier this month, NASA announced it has reassigned astronauts Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada to the SpaceX Crew-5 mission to the International Space State. This mission is notably part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. Mann and Cassada previously were on missions that were onboard Boeing Crew Flight Test and Boeing Starliner-1 mission.
According to a press release, Mann and Cassada will sever as spacecraft commander and pilot for the SpaceX Crew-5 mission. The mission will launch no later than Fall 2022. It will be on a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.
Speaking about the astronaut changes, Kathryn Lueders, Associate Administration of the Space Operations Mission Directorate at NASA, stated that Mann and Cassada have done a “tremendous” job pioneering the training and path forward for astronauts to fly onboard Boeing Starliner spacecraft. “They have gained experience that they will take forward as they train to fly in SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft.”
Mann also spoke about his participation in the upcoming mission. “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to train on another new spacecraft, the SpaceX Crew Dragon. And appreciate the teams at NASA who have made that possible. I am ready to fly and serve on the International Space Station.”
Cassada then adds, “It has been great to spend the last few years training with the joint Boeing and NASA team. And I am really looking forward to now have a chance to also train with SpaceX on a new spacecraft.”