June 2008
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How to Fix a Space Toilet

Following the first of three spacewalks at the International Space Station, astronauts will get down to work Wednesday to fix what has produced an uncomfortable situation for the crew: the broken toilet.

STS-124: Flight Day 5

After Tuesday's successful spacewalk, Wednesday will see the opening of the newly-installed Japanese Kibo lab on the International Space Station, as well as, uh, toilet repair.  NASA reports:

Crews to Enter Japanese Lab Today

JPM Transfer
Image above: The International Space Station's robot arm moves the Japanese Pressurized Module from space shuttle Discovery's payload bay to its new home on the station. Photo credit: NASA TV

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The shuttle and station crews will open the newly installed Japanese laboratory Kibo for business today. Hatch opening is planned for 4:52 p.m. EDT. The experiment module was installed on the Harmony Node’s port side Tuesday.

After a leak check, mission specialists Karen Nyberg and Akihiko Hoshide will prepare Kibo for activation before opening the hatches. Shortly after entering Kibo with Hoshide, Expedition 17 Commander Sergei Volkov will sample the air and test for contamination. They will wear protective goggles and masks until they are sure the Japanese lab’s air is clean.

Mission Specialists Mike Fossum and Ron Garan will review procedures for their second spacewalk and sleep in the U.S. Quest airlock tonight to purge the nitrogen from their bodies. During Thursday’s spacewalk, the second of the mission, the spacewalkers will outfit the new lab and prepare the Japanese logistics module for relocation.

EVA video clip here. Flight Day 3 pics and video are up at the JSC Gallery. More pics and video at KSC. Discussion here. Status Report #8 here. Check the links at right for play-by-play and NASA TV.