back to article SpaceX-powered trip to ISS grounded by 'medical issue'

Four astronauts will not begin their journey to the International Space Station (ISS) on Wednesday as planned after NASA revealed an unspecified medical problem with the crew. Their launch was scheduled for Sunday, October 31 from the Florida coast, and postponed due to unfavorable weather until Wednesday. The next open …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's probably gas...

    A few too many refried bean burritos, a couple of tequila shots, and suddenly the ISS is full of lethal levels of methane. Far safer to wait until everyone stops pretending to be a booster rocket out their exhaust nozzles and _then_ send them up for the intended mission.

    Nobody enjoys sharing an enclosed space (station) with a bunch of windy-arsed gits asking others to pull their finger...

    1. SteveK

      Re: It's probably gas...

      Ah, so it wasn't really 'rogue thruster burns from the Soyuz module' that changed the station's altitude a couple of times recently, but overuse of the space toilet..

      1. Steve K Silver badge

        Re: It's probably gas...

        No - it wasn't even that.

        Ground Control: "Dammit I said IISRESET, not ISSRESET!!!!"

    2. AdamT

      Re: It's probably gas...

      Apparently when the cargo ships arrive all the ISS inhabitants gather round the airlock and, once the safety checks are done, pop the hatch and get a good few breaths of the clean air that has just arrived...

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge

        Re: It's probably gas...

        sorta like one of the first thing a sub crew often does when they get to periscope depth [when the situation permits] is to stick the snorkel mast up and ventilate for a while. Same idea. Equipment has a smell to it when it operates in an enclosed space for a relatively long time. Tighten up the hatches and recirculate the air and you actually start to accumulate the smells of paint, oil, and grease. Even with the best air conditioning designs possible, and with electrostatic precipitators in the ventilation system (better than anything you could get to deal with allergens in your home), and scrubbers and burners to take care of exhaled CO2 and organic smells (farts, cooking, oil, grease, paint) not all of it is dealt with completely and the stench slowly accumulates. You notice it the most if you stayed in for an underway period, and as soon as the boat pulls in you get back to the boat and it smells "like that" for a day or two. And so does the crew (and their clothing). Wives often complain "you smell like the boat".

        So in reality it's not the farts. It's the equipment. At least, from my experience.

        1. RegGuy1 Silver badge

          Equipment has a smell to it

          Probably ozone. That sweet smell you get around electric motors is ozone (O3), which is where it gets its name from.

          1. Jan 0 Silver badge

            Re: Equipment has a smell to it

            >Probably ozone

            or is it oxides of nitrogen? Neither is very good for you. Ozone is harming you if you can smell it!

        2. Steve K Silver badge

          Re: It's probably gas...

          So in reality it's not the farts. It's the equipment. At least, from my experience.

          We await Mrs. Bob's experience on the above.......

    3. vtcodger Silver badge

      Re: It's probably gas...

      Methane isn't considered to be toxic although there might be times when one would wish it were. Methane-Oxygen mixtures from 5-14% are explosive though.

      The rather infamous SpaceX toilet is, it would seem, still busted. Astronauts will be issued high tech "underwear" which is -- I suspect -- Newspeak for "diapers". No, I am not making that up.

      1. alisonken1

        Re: It's probably gas...

        The problem is the capsule already up there preparing to bring the old crew back has the same problem as inspiration 4 capsule - so no chance to fix it until it gets back.

        Still, at least they DO have nappies available for the (hopefully) short trip back.

      2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Re: It's probably gas...

        The rather infamous SpaceX toilet is, it would seem, still busted.

        Not true. Elon's invented the world's first space toilet, just one of the many ways he's revolutionised everything. I have it on good authority that the astronauts found out about the Hertz 'deal', asked what the impact on margins would be, and was promptly punched by Elon. Or one of his assistants. Either that or they quite litterally managed to laugh their *** off.

        But such is politics. Or demonstrating the old adage that if you lose money on every vehicle, you can make it up in volume. Elon's clarified the situation by pointing out that Hertz doesn't have a contract, and they'll be paying full MSRP. I mean if you're bulk buying, why wouldn't you expect a discount? NASA may be working on the same assumption with the news that it'll be ditching the ISS and renting space in commercial space stations.. So more orbital pork for SpaceX.

  2. SusiW

    Boeing version of a "medical issue"

    News report:

    "Today's first crewed test of the Boeing Starliner capsule has been aborted due to a minor medical issue with one of the crew.

    According to our source, one of the test dummies crew escaped his bonds and was last seen running screaming from the launch site just moments before launch."

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: Boeing version of a "medical issue"

      Boeing really is having trouble keeping up, aren't they? They're kinda like IBM that way. Decades ago IBM laid off a bunch of middle and upper management all at once (quite possibly for reasons including age and retirement obligations, but that's another issue). But I think everyone around them agreed that there were too many "bosses" and not enough people doing work. It may be that Boeing has too many bosses and bureaucrats who circulate papers with one another and therefore "scamper" instead of run.

      And THEN you naturally get a few high profile problems because NOBODY seems to have the time to SOLVE them.

      I wonder if Boeing could simply build 10 rockets, launch the first, fix whatever it finds wrong with some creative hardware hacking, then launch the next and the next until they get one that works... yeah that's kinda how Musk did it I bet!

      (ooh look, another fireball! back to the workshop...)

      1. Matthew "The Worst Writer on the Internet" Saroff

        Re: Boeing version of a "medical issue"

        Boeing's problem is that they got taken over by McDonnell (ignore the Douglas) with Boeing's money, thanks to pressure from the Clinton Administration.

        Boeing was a company where engineers built planes, and kind of muddled through on the business part.

        McDonnell was a hedge fund trying to fake that it cared about building aircraft. (Literally only one [sort of] civilian project in its entire history)

        So after a few years of Harry Stonesphincter, they no longer knew how to do anything but make stock buybacks.

  3. Rob Daglish Bronze badge

    plus, you go into space with a cold and it mutates into space flu, next thing you know there's zombies everywhere...

  4. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Even a cold is bad in space – you don't want to sneeze in one of those helmets. Gross.

    Plus action/reaction.... sneeze and you might find yourself going backwards into something you shouldn't hit.

    1. Steve K Silver badge

      What about...

      Does that happen if you are wearing a space helmet and sneeze though?

      1. Spherical Cow Silver badge

        Re: What about...

        This is what happens:

  5. HildyJ Silver badge

    I don't want TMI

    I don't know and don't want to know how the female ISS-nauts deal with there menstruation cycle but I suspect that's what's in play.

    1. JDPower666

      Re: I don't want TMI

      Nice bit of misogyny there. Woman have been dealing with menstruation in space for nearly 60 years.

      1. HildyJ Silver badge

        Re: I don't want TMI

        Certainly. Women (and men) have been dealing with waste collection since Alan Shepard had to pee in his spacesuit.

        But in a Crew Dragon capsule with toilet problems it might be sub-optimal.

        A number of studies have found that women are better suited as astronauts than men and, frankly, I agree. I in no way meant meant to be misogynistic and I'm sorry if you took it that way.

        And, BTW, I'm not particularly interested in the whole space toilet thing either.

    2. alisonken1

      Re: I don't want TMI

      Last article I read basically said most women astronauts prefer to keep on the birth control pill without the placebo pills.

      If you ever noticed them, the package comes with 2 colors of pills - the pink normal pills and the red placebo pills; the placebo pills are only there to keep reminding them to take a pill every day so they don't miss the real pills. Menstruation happens during the placebo pill phase.

      No placebo pills, no menstruation.


      CNN article from 2016 that includes a link to a study of military females as well as astronauts, as well as notes on a long-term (think no daily pill) style of birth control as well.

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