Astronauts Use Toothbrush To Help Repair Space Station

September 6, 2012


Houston we have a solution.

Two spacewalking astronauts spent 6.5 hours yesterday installing a stubborn bolt that was thwarting their attempts to repair a main bus switching unit aboard the space station. Among the makeshift tools the space cadets used was somebody's toothbrush. Who's? My guess is the astronaut with shit-breath now.

But, following last week's unsuccessful attempt, flight controllers, engineers and veteran spacewalkers worked around the clock at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston to devise a solution to the problem. Using only the supplies available on the space station, the teams came up with creative new tools for Williams and Hoshide to use to install the MBSU.

One was a modified toothbrush that was used to lubricate the inside of the bolt's housing after debris and metal shavings from inside had been removed. Another improvised instrument included a cleaning tool that had been made from wires that were bent back to form a brush, explained Kieth Johnson, lead spacewalk director at the Johnson Space Center.

Well thank goodness the brush was only used for lubricating and not something more critical. I'm not sure how I'd feel about a space station held together with a toothbrush. *radio crackle* "Houston to space station -- just attach the two pieces with a toothbrush and wrap it all in dental floss, over."

Thanks to Melissa and cranberriez, who fix things the old fashioned way: kicking them. Me too! Especially electronics.

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