It being the weekend meant I was able to watch the launch of space shuttle Discovery on the NASA streaming service. As usual, it was a tense experience, but everything seemed to work out in the end. I had been keeping track of how this mission was to carry up the central segment of the Japanese space lab, and was struck by how it was larger than the American or European lab modules when I saw a picture of it in "Air & Space" magazine. Even so, there's still another mission to go to carry a third piece of the Japanese lab... In recent days, though, there's been a bit of news about replacement parts for the space toilet being loaded in a hurry. Nasty cracks about the space shuttle's toilet always breaking down seemed somewhat more prevalent some years ago; I remember seeing a science fiction story from a bit more than ten years ago where ghost Saturn Vs materialize on abandoned launchpads until an astronaut finally hijacks one of them and takes it to the Moon; the story managed to romanticize the Apollo-era waste bags, which somehow seemed a little bit much for me.