ISS News: February 2007 Archives

Editor's note: Today's edition of the Washington Post has a half page color advertisement on page A12 [close up]. The ad was placed by United Technologies and focuses on a rather detailed diagram of how a spacesuit is constructed.

Alas, one thing is missing: the urine collection system i.e. "diaper" that is worn underneath. Normally, this would not be a big deal. Yet, given recent detailed news about how astronauts use diapers, you'd think that such a detailed diagram - one that deliberately begs the question as to how complex and functional these suits are - could do a public service by showing exactly how a spacesuit really works - including waste management.

Alas, UT not only avoids that issue - they compound the omission by putting the following quote in the ad - thus raising the topic: "Which leads us to the #1 question: How do the astronauts go to the bathroom? Like everyone else".

"Like everyone else"? I don't think so. Would you lock yourself in a bulky body bag for hours at a time without a way to pee?

Editor's note: According to the National Academies of Science, "Review of NASA's Space Flight Health Standards-Setting Process" (Letter Report) is due to be released in March by the Institute of Medicine. This report "Assesses the current process by which NASA establishes space flight health standards such as fitness-for-duty criteria and limits on radiation and other exposures. The standards are intended to mitigate health risks astronauts face during long missions."

Independent Space Station Task Force Releases Final Report

"The International Space Station Independent Safety Task Force's final report is now available online. The report was released simultaneously Tuesday to Congress, NASA and the public. The Congressionally-mandated task force was chartered last year under Section 1281 of the NASA Authorization Act of 2005. It was charged with reviewing the International Space Station program to assess potential vulnerabilities that could threaten the station or its crew or lead to it being prematurely abandoned."

Huggies On-Orbit

NASA Still Flies Huggies Products in Space, SpaceRef

"There has been some recent interest in the sorts of diaper products astronauts use in space. In addition to full sized adult diapers used during Space Shuttle launches and landings, and spacewalks, there are diaper related products on board the International Space Station (ISS) as well. As was noted in a previous article in December 2005, NASA flies Huggies brand products aboard the ISS. This practice continues today."

Duct-Tape, Tranquilizers Part Of NASA's Plan For Mentally Unstable Astronauts In Space, AP

"It turns out NASA has a detailed set of written procedures for dealing with a suicidal or psychotic astronaut in space. The documents, obtained this week by The Associated Press, say the astronaut's crewmates should bind his wrists and ankles with duct tape, tie him down with a bungee cord and inject him with tranquilizers if necessary."

Editor's note: Yawn, this is not news. Excerpts from these documents were online here at NASA Watch and SpaceRef 7 years ago. For example, here is a suicide prevention procedure and here is one for acute psychosis. Oh yes, there's an on-orbit pregnancy test too. Mike Schneider could have just Googled NASA emergency medical and he'd have found this a lot faster.

Editor's 24 Feb Update: If you look here at the Smoking Gun you will note, by some unfathomable coincidence, that they grabbed precisely the same two emergency procedures I featured in this article (among many others that I have also linked to) and published them - without bothering to note their source.

Just Hit It With a Hammer

NASA Space Station Status Report 22 February 2007

"Expedition 14 Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria and Flight Engineer Mikhail Tyurin retracted a stuck antenna on a cargo spacecraft during a 6-hour, 18-minute spacewalk that ended at 10:45 a.m. CST Thursday."

Astronauts prepare for record-setting spacewalk, New Scientist

"On Thursday, Tyurin and Lopez-Alegria will first use a hammer and a chisel to try to pound the antenna into place. If that does not work, they will try to cut two of the four metal struts that hold the antenna in place."

Space station needs help, Glenn says, AP

"He said he supports the president's moon and Mars goals but not at the expense of the space station, which is only two-thirds complete. Glenn, a Democrat who represented Ohio from 1975 to 1999, said the station shouldn't be abandoned, especially after costing taxpayers billions of dollars. "We will not even begin to realize its potential," he said."

Slashdot's take on this article

NASA Goes Deep, op ed, NY Times

"After years of spending our nation's space budget building an orbiting space station of questionable utility, serviced by an operationally expensive space shuttle of unsafe design, NASA has set a new direction for the future of human spaceflight. Once again, we have our sights on the Moon ... and beyond. We are finally, bodily, going to make our way into space, this time to stay."

Editor's note: While I agree (strongly in most cases) with almost all of what Dr. Porco has written, I have to disagree with her gratuitous slap at human spaceflight. It simply serves no useful purpose to dump on one space project - in this case the International Space Station Program - as part of a justification for the value of another program (hers i.e. Cassini).

NASA Space Station Status Report 12 February 2007, NASA

"An unexpected circuit breaker trip early Sunday caused a power outage on the International Space Station, but the safety of the Expedition 14 crew and the complex was never an issue. All systems were back up by Monday morning with no impact to operations on board. The first indications of a problem came with the loss of communications between the station and mission control just after midnight CST Sunday when an electrical switching unit experienced a brief malfunction that appropriately caused a breaker to trip, which protects the electrical system of the station much like a circuit breaker protects electrical systems and equipment in a home."


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This page is an archive of entries in the ISS News category from February 2007.

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