back to article Atlantis glides home with choked pee nozzle

Space shuttle Atlantis undocked from the International Space Station today for its three-day return voyage to terra firma. All systems are clear for the STS-129 mission's planned landing at Kennedy Space Center on Friday morning — with the small exception of a blockage in the craft's waste water dump line. During a purge of …


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  1. Sureo


    Now I know more about this subject than I ever wanted. It is interesting just how much mass must be consumed and excreted by an adult human being every day, which explains why space travel is so damned expensive (and impractical, especially when the machinery doesn't work).

  2. Adrian Esdaile

    we are never going to get to Mars, are we?

    If we can't even orbit the Earth for a couple of days without something breaking, we haven't got a hope of getting to Mars.


  3. Fluffykins

    Bloody Impeerial units.

    Isn't it about time we fully embraced the metric system?

    I, for one, think we should refrain from using the term "Spend a penny" and instead refer to it as "Euronating"

    1. Anonymous Coward

      GTH, Philistine, thems British and US units of weight..

      There should be no shame in using 'Imperial' units, or being multi-lingual in units of measurement.

      I use miles for large distances, inches for computer and electronics gear, cm and mm for short distances, Centigrade for temperature, and Kg, g and Troy Ounces for GOLD :)

  4. Nexox Enigma

    New Standard El Reg Unit?

    So how much would say, an olympic swimming pool hold, measured in full astronaut bladders?

    1. Rob


      2,505,253 bladders roughly, although I'm sure there are some commentards who can do better maths than I can, I was bored while I was waiting for the kettle to boil.

    2. Svantevid

      @Nexox Enigma

      "So how much would say, an olympic swimming pool hold, measured in full astronaut bladders?"

      Thanks to some dimly remembered elementary school physics and El Reg online standards converter:

      Bladder = 2,2 pounds -> 0,9979 kg

      Let's say that human urine has same weight per volume as your average dihydrogen monoxide -> 0,0009764 cubic metres. Which wouldn't even moisten an olympic swimming pool, but measures 1,86 gf, or somewhat more than one of Katie Price's funbags.

  5. CapitalW

    Sounds familiar........

    .....Maybe NASA uses the same contractors Airbus uses.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Uh oh...

    Did NASA contract Cathay Pacific for loo maintenance?

  7. Matthew 4
    Thumb Up


    They appear to have predicted this very event on the big bang theory

  8. Scott 19


    I'd be pissed if i was a astronaut.

  9. sandman

    Intergalactic Laxative

    To quote Dononvan...

    I was amazed like everyone when man began to fly

    out of earthly regions to planets in the sky

    My romantic vision shattered when it was explained to me

    Spacemen all wear diapers in which they shit and pee...

  10. Christopher Rogers

    At least its not.....

    taking the piss.

    Thank you.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    You forgot something in the calculation...

    "Solid waste from the shuttle's toilet is compacted, dried and stored in bags"

    The liquid extracted from the solid waste as it is dried presumably also has to go into the tank. So the remaining 72 pounds isn't just for humidity, but the extracted liquid as well...

  12. NightFox

    You have been outbid. Bid again now!

    I guarantee this stuff would sell on eBay.

    In fact, I happen to have access to a few sandwich bags full of the stuff. Any takers?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "A human bladder can hold about 2.2 pounds of urine at maximum capacity"

    That's about 0.9979 kg. I rather suspect it was originally "about 1 kg" and somebody translated it to pounds.

  14. richard 69

    nasa budget takes the piss again...

    that is all

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's good to know that whatever the problem is

    it's not NASA being full of shit

  16. Anonymous John


    No plunger on board?

  17. AlistairJ

    Obvious really

    The space bus is getting old. Soon it will launch but by the time it gets into orbit it will forget what its gone up there for.

  18. Anonymous Coward


    WHY NOT......

    we all are :)))))

    Beer cos its already tasting like # pre-packaged!

  19. andy gibson

    The weight of p*ss

    Does anyone really need to know the weight of urine? Surely the capacity in LITRES makes more sense?

    1. Trygve

      I'm going to hazard a guess...

      That the 2.2lbs which probably came from 1kg may have started out as 1 litre.

  20. Roger Jenkins


    After having read the article and the comments, I am now very worried.

    2.2 pounds, give or take is 1 kg.

    1 kg give or take is 1 litre of wee. Back in the old days when I used to drink a lot of beer I don't think I ever managed to pee more than 1 pint let alone 1 litre. Do I have a small bladder? Does no one else think 1 litre is excessive.

  21. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    I see

    I'm visualising the commander flying the plane in with a Coke bottle between their knees... I understand women can use an appliance, I don't know if that's used by astronauts particularly, and I now have a mental image I didn't want because I don't read adult Japanese comics...

  22. Andus McCoatover


    Er, where's it weighed? I can (vaguely) imagine pissing a Golden Shower at the piss-machine, and it (the piss) floating around the ISS, weighing less than an MP's duck-house in space, like my apartment - - 30 sq. metres, which I recently renamed Bugger Hall.

    Volume much more useful. Ta muchly, folks.

  23. Anonymous Coward

    so much for boldly going in space.

    thank god the Wolowitz variable didn't occur

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