International Space Station flushes rubbish down the world's toilet

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iss.jpgFloating miles above the Earth in the International Space Station must really put things into perspective. The world is such a small, fragile place compared to the rest of the universe – from above, all conflicts must seem pointless, and it must be pretty clear that humanity must put aside its differences in order to ensure the survival of this small blue and green marble.

Or at least, that’s what I thought it must be like until I learnt that astronauts are as bad as the rest of us. Apparently they dump their rubbish without a care into the unsuspecting environment too. Yesterday, a “refrigerator sized” Ammonia tank, which was thrown overboard from the ISS in July 2007 landed in the Tasman sea, to which a NASA spokesman responded by rubbing his hands together and saying “It’s Australia’s problem now”, before walking away nonchalantly.

Of course, the original story was that NASA were trying to recycle – it was originally going to take down the 1400Ib tank in a Shuttle, but you know how it is… does anyone really want to get up on a Sunday morning and lug several large bags down to the bottle bank?

(via RTT News)

Related stories: At least we’re sending some junk back into space | NASA astro-biology rap (really)

James O’Malley