FROM 1-26. Through the Barn Door

Oct 25, 2005 - 0630hrs UTC

0630hrs 25 Oct 2005 UTC 37’27”S 017’38”E Ref 484

From Barry Duncan

You mention space toilet development. NASA spent over $23 million on developing their vacuum toilet.  Useful anywhere gravity cannot be relied on. You can suck it uphill and also reduce water consumption.  Possibly as a spin off, vacuum toilets are now used in trains, boats planes and prisons as well as in space.  You do need a reliable power source otherwise you will get your own back.

From Malcom Robinson

They’re a bit short on detail on the web site but, in relation to your query about the ISS toilet arrangements, this is what it says: “”We have to have active components to help remove the feces and urine away from the astronaut. The two machines that separately handle these two body functions both use air flow created by suction to facilitate waste removal””.  Have a good think about *that* next time you reach for the pee bucket :-)

Now that the Great Unclench ’05 has occurred and normal functions can resume, Mal and Barry, thanks for NASA bodily waste removal information. It seems $23M well spent! I have written to the man with first hand – or at least, first freckle – experience and I hope he will be kind enough to ask around his colleagues and send us the bumf.

Rob M – and every one else who has written recently – Potter, Hugh, Mark, Malcom and many others – thanks for your notes – sorry not to acknowledge – been a bit hectic.

Am just realising just how weary I am – A long year combined with a week or so of tension and a bloke really needs the Doctor. Wendy, we are approaching your first milestone – 20E and Cape Agulhas and the Indian Ocean are about a day and a half away if we can keep sailing. Interesting evidence out there of just how much water has dumped over the decks – some of it quite subtle, like the bit of very grippy sticky tape I had covering a small hole in a mushroom vent – gone completely – would have taken significant scraping to remove it manually.

Now have to start drying out – ran the engine for an hour this morning and my woolly sox are now cooking quietly on top of it as it cools. Will be nice to have them dry again.

Where to from here? Dunno – I think that both a 5 Cape Circumnavigation as well as making the start line is now beyond us, sadly. Too much time wasted around here and we’re not yet out of the unpleasantness. Priority will probably be the start line but we’ll see – may not even make that, so there’s always the New Year’s Eve party.

Pete has just handed me a pot of lovely foaming Medicinal Compound. Berri still rolling like crazy – the waves come in patterns and really chuck us around sometimes.

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