Discovery is set to launch tonight at 5:02 pm EDT. Discovery will have the largest payload to the International Space Station to date. They will be delivering and installing the pressurized module for the Kibo lab as well as the module's robotic arm system. Discovery will also be delivering parts for the station's broke toilet. That's right they have a broke toilet....... wait, they only have one toilet? I know from experience, after at one time living with 3 women, 4 if you count the cat that the minimum requirements should be 1 bathroom per person, right now it's just my wife and I and we have 2 bathrooms, that is just sufficient, anything less is criminal. The station houses 3 astronauts, what are they going to do when in the near future the station will be occupied by 6 astronauts? People we are going to see the first death in space and it isn't going to be due to some dangerous spacewalk. Man if I were an astronaut I'd be, well first I'd be saying, is it here yet, is it here yet ,is it here yet... I'm hungry, but I'd be asking the question, " this Japanese kibo module thingy.. has it got a bathroom?" it should be space station code, one bathroom per astronaut.
The cost to repair the toilet. 19 followed by 6 zeros, that's right 19 million dollars! NASA said it is cheaper to buy parts from the Russian manufacture for the old one rather then build a new one from scratch, the Russians saw us coming, wow, we can put a man on the Moon yet we can't build a cheaper then $19,000,000 space toilet.
On the Phoenix Mars Lander front, scientists have noticed what they think might be ice that was exposed by the thrusters on landing, just off one of the lander's legs, very cool, they expect to do some digging as early as next week, so excited. A possible short circuit was detected on one of the lander's scientific instruments, the Thermal and Evolved Gas Analyzer, this instrument tracks how much heat is needed to melt or vaporize substances in a sample then examine the vapours driven off by the heat. Scientists are looking into the problem, "We have developed a strategy to gain a better understanding of this behavior, and we have identified workarounds for some of the possibilities," said William Boynton of the University of Arizona, Tucson, lead scientist for the instrument . During the descent stage the Mars Express Orbiter picked up the sounds created by Phoenix as it was descending to the Martian surface, check it out.
On my flight back from Kelowna I took a bunch of videos and pics over the mountains, I made one of the mountain images I took from the plane window into an animated gif, looks pretty cool, at least I think so, but I think everything looks cool this way, hey even a toilet.