In the vast human adventure that is the U.S. manned space program, NASA engineers fixed the broken toilet in the International Space Station yesterday, just in time to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the first walk on the lunar surface.
This was not the Russian-made Zvezda space toilet that broke down last June. It was an American-bought copy of the Russian toilet that broke down last June. The device was delivered to the station in November 2008, five months after the Russian prototype broke. At least it’s not a General Motors product with awkward warranty issues. A Maytag repaiman Joe the Plumber Russian Cosmonaut was on site for a housecall, saving additional millions in additional repair expenses.
The $19 million space commode recycles waste products as drinking water. It is the major scientific accomplishment of NASA’s manned space program since the return from the Moon four decades ago.
Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com
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