The International Space Station is soon going to have to learn to live without the constant deliveries of water by space shuttle. With the heaviest lifter available to retire after three more missions, the ISS will be running its water recycling system, which Discovery dropped off during its latest visit. Might sound a bit nasty, but the living conditions on the ISS are a bit better than those outside of it. Forty years after Apollo 13, space agencies do like to be prepared against any problems that may befall space bound vehicles. Especially when something seemingly so minor as the placement of oxygen tanks (#9 in Universe Today’s 13 things that saved Apollo 13) can make or break a rescue.
One new bit that will be going up in a hundred days or so to be fixed to the outside of the station is the alpha magnetic spectrometer 2, which will be measuring the composition and energy of cosmic rays.