Elon Musk Says First Inspiration4 Mission Had Toilet ‘Challenges’

Science

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk delivered what no previous human missions to outer space could. The company took four civilian crew members to outer space in a spacecraft with no professional astronauts on board and returned them safely to Earth after three days. While the successful mission was an encouragement to others attempting something similar, the all-civilian crew faced some trouble during their voyage. For example, there were no ovens to heat food. There were also reports of issues with the toilet system. Asked about these, Musk said the next mission will definitely have upgraded toilets and a small oven to heat meals.

Musk also said the next Dragon capsule, which allows for the transportation of people as well as environmentally sensitive cargo to space, will have Wi-Fi connection from Starlink, a satellite internet system operated by SpaceX providing satellite Internet access to most of the Earth.

The Insipiration4 crew was launched from Kennedy Space Center on September 15. The stated aim of the mission was to democratise space. Earlier, the crew had made an “extraordinary” complaint that their pizza was served cold in space, to which Musk said “sorry” and assured that the Dragon capsule will have options to warm food and free Wi-Fi as well.

When a Twitter user asked Musk about it, he said there will be a small oven on the next mission.

After the crew landed back on Earth on Saturday, mission director Todd Ericson said at a press conference that there was a minor issue with the waste management system but a solution was quickly found. He didn’t say what the minor issue was, but Musk acknowledged there were “some challenges” with it during this flight.

The Twitter user asked whether he would promise to install a heated tiled seat next, Musk said the toilet system will be upgraded.

This was the third landing for SpaceX in which it took humans to space and brought them back. The other two were in August 2020 and in May this year.


This week on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast, we discuss iPhone 13, new iPad and iPad mini, and Apple Watch Series 7 — and what they mean to the Indian market. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.

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