Discovery brings part to fix ISS throne along with Japanese lab module

The crew aboard the International Space Station (ISS) finally got their toilet back in operation this week. A new pump to fix the faulty throne’s liquid waste system was rushed from Moscow to Florida and placed in the shuttle Discovery’s payload along with the Japanese Kibo lab main section.

According to the Associated Press (AP) Russian Cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko spent two hours installing the new pump and hoses on the Russian built multi-million dollar toilet aboard the ISS. Once repairs were complete Russian mission control told Kononenko, “Let's start using it. We'll keep our fingers crossed.”

For the last three weeks since the ISS toilet broke the three men on the space station have been manually flushing the toilet repeatedly throughout the day. The task was described as time consuming and a waste of water plus it was an unpleasant job says the AP.

The real purpose of the Discovery mission to the ISS was to deliver the first section of the Japanese Kibo laboratory module. The Japanese lab has been over 20 years in the making and delivery to the ISS and was installed without incident.

One more section of the Kibo lab, an outdoor porch like area designed for experiments is due to be added to the ISS next spring. A walk-in closet for the Kibo lab was delivered to the space station in March and is due to be installed in the Kibo module later this week. Astronauts are scheduled to make a spacewalk today to set up Kibo’s TV cameras and remove coverings from its robot arm.

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