Connect with us

Science

Fire alarms sound at International Space Station – Al Jazeera English

Published

 on


Smoke alarms went off in the Russian segment of the ISS during recharging of the station’s batteries, Russia’s space agency said.

The crew of the Russian segment of the International Space Station (ISS) have reported smoke and the smell of burned plastic as fire and smoke alarms went off.

Russia’s space agency Roscosmos said the incident took place at 01:55 GMT on Thursday in the Russian-built Zvezda module as the station’s batteries were being recharged.

According to Roscosmos, the crew activated air filters and returned back to their “night rest” once the air quality was back to normal. The crew will proceed with a spacewalk scheduled for Thursday as planned, the agency noted.

The incident is the latest in a string of problems that have raised safety concerns over conditions in the Russian segment.

“A smoke detector was triggered in the Zvezda service module of the Russian segment of the International Space Station during automatic battery charging, and an alarm went off,” Roscosmos said in a statement.

French astronaut Thomas Pesquet said “the smell of burning plastic or electronic equipment” wafted to the US segment of the station, Russian state news agency RIA Novosti reported, citing a NASA broadcast.

The ISS is currently operated by NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei, Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur; Oleg Novitsky and Pyotr Dubrov of Russia’s Roscosmos; Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and European Space Agency astronaut Pesquet.

Novitsky and Dubrov are scheduled to carry out a six-hour spacewalk on Thursday to continue integrating the Russian-built Nauka science lab that docked with the space station in July.

“All systems are operating normally,” Roscosmos said.

The Russian segment of the ISS has experienced several problems recently and a space official warned last month that out-of-date software could lead to “irreparable failures”.

The Zvezda service module, part of the Russian segment, has experienced several air leaks, including earlier this year and in 2019.

Citing concerns stemming from ageing hardware, Russia has previously indicated that it plans to leave the ISS after 2025 and launch its own orbital station.

In July, the entire ISS tilted out of orbit after the Nauka module’s thrusters reignited several hours after docking – an incident Russian space officials blamed on a software failure.

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Science

Elon Musk pledges $50M to St. Jude fundraiser – WAGM

Published

 on


(CNN) – SpaceX founder Elon Musk helped St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital reach its $200 million fundraising goal.

Musk pledged $50 million in response to a public call for donations following the successful splashdown of the SpaceX Dragon capsule.

Billionaire Jared Isaacman personally financed the Inspiration4 mission as a fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

Hayley Arceneaux, a childhood cancer survivor who now works for the hospital, joined him on the three-day space tourism mission.

The crew will continue fundraising for the children’s hospital by auctioning off some of the items they took into space, including signed collectibles.

Copyright 2021 CNN Newsource. All rights reserved.

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Science

Elon Musk: Next SpaceX flight will have better toilets, WiFi, oven – Business Insider

Published

 on


SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.

REUTERS/Steve Nesius


  • Elon Musk said the next SpaceX civilian mission would have a better toilet.
  • SpaceX successfully completed its first all-civilian mission, Inspiration4, last week.
  • Musk said on Twitter there had been “challenges” with the toilet, without elaborating.

Elon Musk said on Twitter that SpaceX plans to upgrade the amenities for its next space-tourist flight, including the toilet.

The Inspiration4 crew, made up of four non-astronauts, took off on Wednesday aboard SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft. They landed back on Earth on Saturday evening.

Elon Musk tweeted on Monday saying he’d met the crew in person in Florida, and then answered questions from Twitter users about the company’s plans for the next mission.

Responding to one user, Musk said the next flight would have “upgraded toilets,” adding, “we had some challenges with it this flight.”

The billionaire did not elaborate on what these challenges were, or how exactly the toilets would be upgraded.

Jared Isaacman, one of the passengers on Inspiration4, told Insider in July the toilet for Crew Dragon was located on the ceiling of the spacecraft and featured a glass dome, meaning crewmembers had a 360-degree view while using the bathroom.

“It’s not a ton of privacy. But you do have this kind of privacy curtain that cuts across the top of the spacecraft, so you can kind of separate yourself from everyone else,” Isaacman said.

Isaacman added that learning to use the toilet on the spacecraft was part of the civilian astronauts’ rigorous pre-flight training. 

crew dragon spaceship above earth with glass dome cupola beneath nosecone

An illustration of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spaceship with a glass dome or “cupola” at its nose — containing the toilet.


SpaceX



Musk also said the next flight would have a small oven for heating food, and WiFi provided by Starlink, SpaceX’s satellite internet project.

The crew for the Inspiration4 mission took cold pizza on their three-day flight. While in space they chatted with Musk and actor Tom Cruise.

A picture of a switch and lightbulb

Sign up for notifications from Insider! Stay up to date with what you want to know.
Subscribe to push notifications

Deal icon
An icon in the shape of a lightning bolt.

For you

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Science

SpaceX Tourists Struggled With Space Toilet – Futurism

Published

 on


There was an issue with the Waste Management System.

Toilet Troubles

Four space tourists circled the Earth for three full days as part of SpaceX’s Inspiration4 mission last week.

It was mostly smooth sailing for the four civilians, who ate cold pizza and even watched “Spaceballs” during the trip.

But it sounds like the mission did leave some room for improvement — there were issues with the toilet, Space.com reports.

“It was very clean mission from start to finish,” SpaceX human spaceflight programs lead Benji Reed said during a press conference following the successful landing on Saturday. “We had a couple of issues that we worked, we did work something on the Waste Management System, but that was worked [out] fine and, you know, the crew was happy and healthy.”

Advertisement

Sucking Up Waste

The toilet — located underneath the massive glass cupola no less — is radically different from the ones you find on Earth. In the simplest terms, they are two vacuum tubes for sucking up pee and poop that rely on suction fans to remove waste.

We don’t know exactly what the issue was yet with the Waste Management System, but it involved the suction fan, according to Reed. It’s also unclear whether the malfunction had anything to do with the surprising decision not to release photos or videos inside the spaceship during the journey.

Inspiration4 was a little different than preceding Crew Dragon flights. The crew spent three whole days in the tiny capsule instead of less than 24 hours, the maximum length of a trip to the International Space Station.

Unfortunately, the crew wasn’t actually able to catch glimpses of the Earth while doing their business as the hatch had to be closed during toilet use, according to Space.com.

Advertisement

The space tourists have yet to speak out about their toilet experience — but fortunately, it sounds like the issue was quickly resolved.

READ MORE: SpaceX’s private Inspiration4 astronauts had some toilet trouble in space [Space.com]

More on the launch: SpaceX Tourist Watches Movie While Careening Down to Earth

Futurism Readers: Find out how much you could save by switching to solar power at UnderstandSolar.com. By signing up through this link, Futurism.com may receive a small commission.

Advertisement

Share This Article

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending