Isaacman said the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft’s systems alerted the crew to a “significant” problem. They spent months researching SpaceX textbooks and training in space emergency response. So they took action, working with SpaceX ground controllers to determine the source of the outage.
It turned out that the Crew Dragon was not in danger. But the toilet was on the plane.
There is nothing easy about space, including going to the bathroom. In the case of a sane person on Earth, making sure everything ends up in the bathroom is usually a matter of simple goal. But in space, there is no sense of gravity. There is no guarantee that what comes out will go… where it is intended. Waste can – and goes – in all directions.
To solve this problem, there are toilets equipped with fans which are used to create exhaust ventilation. Basically, they remove waste from the human body and keep it away.
Fans of the Crew Dragon’s “waste management system” have had mechanical issues. This caused the alarm which the crew heard.
Scott “Kid” Bottet, the Inspiration4 mission director who helped oversee the mission from Earth, spoke to reporters about the matter in an interview with CBS. The director of crew mission management at Poteet and SpaceX later confirmed “problems” with the waste management system at a press conference, but did not go into details, triggering an immediate wave of speculation that the rift could have caused catastrophic chaos.
Asked directly on Thursday, Isakman said, “I want to be 100% clear: there have been absolutely no issues in the cabin associated with this.” who who. “
But Isaacman and his fellow passengers on the Inspiration4 mission had to work with SpaceX to resolve the issue during their three-day stay in orbit, during which they experienced numerous communication failures, stressing the importance of a training system. complete for the crew.
“I would probably say we didn’t have about 10% of our time in orbit” [communication with the ground]”We were a very calm and great crew then,” he said, adding that “mental toughness, a good mental framework and a good attitude” were essential to the mission.
“The psychological aspect is an area where you can’t compromise because… there were obviously circumstances that happened there where if you had someone who didn’t have that mental toughness and you started behaving badly, it really could have caused it. Isaacman said.
SpaceX did not respond to CNN Business’s requests for comment.
The story of the toilet also sheds light on a fundamental truth about humanity and its extraterrestrial ambitions – no matter how far we envision our future in space, the biological facts remain.
trash in space, history
Isaacsin – like many astronauts before him – was shy when it came to discussing “the location of the toilet.”
“Nobody really wants to go into the gory details,” Isakman said. But when the Inspiration4 crew spoke to NASA astronauts, they said, “It’s hard to use the bathroom and space, and you have to be good – what’s the word? – terribly ” Good heart One for the other”.
He added that despite the toilet problems on the plane, no one had any accidents or insults.
“I don’t know who he trained them, but we were able to get over it and get over it.” [the toilet] Even with the difficult circumstances at the beginning, so there was absolutely nothing, you know, in the cabin Or similar.”
However, how to safely rest in space was a fundamental question posed half a century ago at the dawn of human spaceflight, and the road to the answers has not been seamless.
“The problem here is that you have this very advanced space toilet and you have to test it. Well you have to take him to Ellington Field and drive him in the gravity simulator – the plane that does it. these arcs detailed from top to bottom – and then you have to find a poor volunteer from the waste management system management office to test it out. And I don’t know about you, but I mean do it on demand in 20 seconds, it takes a lot of the colon right now. So it’s very detailed and misleading.
Training astronauts to use the bathroom is no laughing matter, Roach wrote in his book Mobilizing for Mars.
“Simple, mild urination can turn into a medical emergency requiring embarrassing catheterization and radio consultations with aircraft surgeons,” she writes. Because urine behaves differently in the bladder in space, it can be very difficult to know when to go.
The human body is evolutionarily designed for life on Earth, with its gravity, oxygen-rich air, and predictable environmental cycles. It was not specially designed to float in zero gravity, which made many astronauts sick, especially during the first two days in orbit.
NASA has an official term for the disease – space adaptation syndrome, which, in a research paper, estimates that about 80% of astronauts have experienced it.
Isaacman said he didn’t feel the urge to throw up during the Inspiration4 mission. But adjusting to microgravity can be uncomfortable.
“It’s just a gathering in your head, like hanging upside down on your bed,” he told CNN Business. “But you’ve got to find a way to just ignore it and get over it… After about a day, there’s a kind of balance that you don’t know much about.”
Not all of his colleagues were so lucky. Hayley Arsenault, a 29-year-old cancer survivor who worked as a doctor for Inspiration4, had to give injections of Phenergan – an antihistamine used to treat motion sickness to fight nausea, Isaacman said.
The inescapable truth is that humans will fight disease as long as we continue to look at space and see it as a place to go. That’s why many journalists, including Roach, have questioned our tendency to idealize space travel and downplay harsh realities and risks.
But despite the annoyance, Isaacman said he didn’t regret his decision to spend nearly $ 200 million on a three-day space flight.
“I hope this will serve as a model for future missions,” he said, adding that he believed in SpaceX’s mission to ultimately support entire colonies of humans in space.
During his journey, “I felt really energized and energized that we should just keep pushing and moving forward.”
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