Monday, 14 September 2009

Tinkle Tinkle Little Star

Stargazers in the USA have been wondering about a mysterious sparkling light seen overhead last Wednesday. A number of people who follow the Space Shuttle correctly surmised that it was something being dumped overboard.

The messy truth is that it was an unusually large urine dump - about 68kg. Since the installation of the Kibo module on the ISS, the Space Shuttle hasn't been able to dump liquid waste while docked. This means that 10 days worth of waste has to be stored and dumped at once after undocking.

According to astronauts, space ablution is one of the most commonly-requested topics of discussion. I have a display in my own collection entitled "How do you go to the toilet in space?" and it gets more comments than anything else. A friend of mine, upon learning that shooting stars are sometimes human waste, said "You've ruined the romance".

So this one's for you Colin. Just in case your imagination isn't enough, a photo courtesy of spaceweather.com to seal the deal. The lower streak is the Space Shuttle, the comet-like object is 68kg of romance-killing pee.

Urine Dump

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