Waste Water Dump Flow Reduction Not Expected to be Issue

During a purge of the space shuttle waste water tank Wednesday morning, Mission Control noticed a reduction in the flow from the nozzle that vents the waste water into space. This has occurred on past shuttle missions and is not expected to be an issue. Capsule Communicator Stan Love told Atlantis Commander Charles Hobaugh it is likely no further waste dumps will be necessary before Friday’s planned landing.

As a precaution, to determine if there is ice on the outside of the nozzle, a robotic arm camera may be used to view the nozzle during a planned pause in the “late inspection” survey. There are heaters at the waste water dump nozzle to prevent water from freezing and flight controllers believe ice formation is unlikely, due to the nozzle temperatures they are measuring.

The waste water system stores waste from the crew cabin humidity separator and from the crew. The tank is located below the crew compartment middeck floor, and the dump nozzle is on the left side of the shuttle.