Thursday, May 29, 2008

Apollo 13 . . . Redux

I’m sure you’ve all seen the movie Apollo 13 in which a moon-bound spacecraft had a major malfunction during the historic trip and the astronauts barely made it back to Earth.

I remember the actual event in 1971. I was in the sixth grade and our teacher, Mrs. Primm, had an actual television set wheeled into the classroom so that we could keep up with the events. The nation held its breath, not knowing if the three astronauts would make it back to earth or if they’d become a charcoal briquette in space. It was a real nail-biter.

She thought it would be very educational for us sixth-graders. We loved it, mainly because we got out of doing actual school work for a couple of days.

Much like the events of Apollo 13, I thought I’d keep you all up-to-date on the historic toilet malfunction on the International Space Station.

The three male astronauts have temporarily bypassed the liquid waste component of the toilet. In other words, they can pee but can’t go cockie-doodie in the toilet. (see photo)

Meanwhile, professionals at Mission Control realized at the last minute that they have a space shuttle about to leave for the Space Station on Saturday. Imagine that?

Due to their quick thinking, they called a co-worker in Russia who was able to smuggle a replacement pump in his luggage en route to the U.S.

Miraculously, the airline did not lose his luggage and NASA officials were able to make room on Discovery for the poop pump.

"Clearly, having a working toilet is a priority for us, so some of these things that we didn't need for the next six months or so could wait," payload manager Scott Higginbotham said.

If all goes according to plan, it looks like the malfunctioning toilet will be repaired by next week.

Whew!!! That was a close one. . .

. . . . I feel like I’m in Mrs. Primm’s sixth grade class all over again.

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At 5:16 PM , Blogger Kimberly Ann said...

This story had my fascinated until I heard Keith Olbermann interviewing a science-y type that talked how the urine is transformed to drinking water for the station. That's it for me. Say good night, Gracie.

At 6:02 PM , Blogger Buck said...

KA: Awww. I'm sure their recycled liquid is much cleaner than any Aquafina we have on Earth.


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