Space walking astronauts have used parts of a domestic electric toothbrush to help restore the power system aboard the International Space Station.
According to the Reuters news wire, NASA astronaut Sunita Williams and Japan’s Akihiko Hoshide hacked up a battery powered toothbrush to use as part of a makeshift toolkit required to fix a stuck bolt on the outside of the orbiting research ship.
After over 4 hours of work, the space explorers were able to remove the bolt and replace a faulty power switching unit with a new one, returning full power to the ISS. Alongside the makeshift toothbrush-tool, the spacewalkers also used greased cloths and puffs of compressed nitrogen gas to shift the troublesome bolt.
Of course, it is not the first time that astronauts have had to implement a bit of DIY in order to keep a mission on track. The crew of Apollo 13 famously used a length of hose to keep themselves alive during their ill-fated mission to the moon.
Reports that NASA is sending a dentist up to the ISS in order to repair the astronauts’ neglected teeth remain unconfirmed.