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The SpaceX crew returning from the International Space Station (ISS) will have to wear nappies for the trip.
A broken toilet on the capsule means the crew of four will have no other option but to wear nappies for the 20-hour journey, which is due to begin tomorrow (7 November).
NASA astronaut Megan McArthur described the situation as 'suboptimal' - which is certainly one way of putting it.
UPDATE: We're now targeting no earlier than 7:14am ET (12:14 UTC) Mon., Nov. 8 for the @SpaceX Crew-2 astronauts' return to Earth from the @Space_Station.
Check out the full schedule and tune in for updates: https://t.co/WUYhjK1Lzl pic.twitter.com/NJEiamAklg
- NASA (@NASA) November 6, 2021
According to AP, she said during a news conference from orbit yesterday: "Spaceflight is full of lots of little challenges.
"This is just one more that we'll encounter and take care of in our mission. So we're not too worried about it."
The toilet problem was first identified during SpaceX's private flight in September, when a tube came unstuck and spilled urine beneath the floorboards.
Engineers determined that the urine hadn't compromised the capsule structurally, but the crew are now left in the less than ideal predicament of having to rely on what NASA described as absorbent 'undergarments'.
Perhaps they'll opt for a light meal before making the trip back to Earth.
In fact, the crew have actually been harvesting the first ever chilli peppers grown in space - which is probably the very last thing they need before a 20-hour toiletless trip.
.@SpaceX Crew-2 astronauts prepare to return to Earth while #Crew3 gears up for launch. Meanwhile, things got spicy aboard the @Space_Station with a tasting of chile peppers grown in space!
:hot_pepper:️ Details in a new episode of #SpaceToGround: https://t.co/GLPyLt0Fku pic.twitter.com/bT58Kw374Q
- NASA (@NASA) November 5, 2021
McArthur said: "They have a nice spiciness to them, a little bit of a lingering burn.
"Some found that more troublesome than others."
Yeah, reckon I'd be sticking with the bland vanilla astronaut paste until I was back on Earth with toilet access.
Returning alongside McArthur are French astronaut Thomas Pesquet, NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough and Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide.
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