London, June 4 : The Discovery's 30-million-pound lift off from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida on Saturday may be described as the most expensive plumbing call-out in history, as it took along a replacement pump for the orbital outpost's toilet.
The urine collection system of the space station toilet, housed in the Russian-built Zvezda module, is not working properly.
According to reports, it requires manual flushing with water after every three flushes or so, which takes two crewmembers about ten minutes.
The shuttle floated into the station with the words, "Someone call a plumber?"
"Yeah, we got it," the Scotsman quoted commander Mark Kelly as assuring station flight engineer Garrett Reisman, as they greeted each other in orbit.
The primary goal of Discovery's mission was to deliver Japan's 500 million-pound Kibo laboratory, the cornerstone of the country's 20-year effort to join in as a permanent player in space exploration and research.