Recently, the Inspiration4 mission put civilian astronauts into orbit for the first time. They go into orbit aboard a special Crew Dragon capsule that ditches the docking devices normally used to communicate with the International Space Station in favor of a dome that allows astronauts to see space and Earth during their missions. Also in the dome area there is a toilet equipped for missions.
The Inspiration crew received training to use the space toilet in preparation for the mission. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk confirmed via Twitter that there were challenges with the toilet without further details. We now know that during a mission, the flight crew has to deal with an alarm, and that alarm has occurred Connection toilet.
It was part of the crew’s training on how to handle an emergency. They work with ground controllers to determine the cause of the problem. Going to the bathroom in outer space is huge and without any special equipment, waste will go everywhere except the toilet which will create tremendous chaos and potentially cause illness among the crew.
The toilet inside the Crew Dragon capsule has a fan inside to ensure waste flows where it belongs. An alarm that sounds during the mission indicates that one of the fans is experiencing a mechanical problem. The SpaceX and Inspiraiton4 crew explained that the toilet problem did not pose a danger to the capsule or crew.
There are times during missions that the crew of the spacecraft have no contact with Earth. Overall, about 10 percent of the crew lacked communication and were able to operate without problems thanks to their training. Going to the bathroom in space is tricky, and in Inspiration4, there’s only a curtain separating the person using the bathroom from the rest of the crew. Not perfect, but their bathroom has the best view in the universe thanks to the dome.
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