SpaceX, NASA Marshall assess losses after SpaceX mission failure

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REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (WHNT) - A little over a week after a SpaceX mission to take supplies to the ISS failed, the rocket breaking into pieces, invested parties are putting together a complete picture of what they lost.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk says he expects answers by the end of this week.

Over at Marshall Space Flight Center they have other concerns. Namely, they work on a number of systems and programs on the ISS that count on supplies from missions like the failed SpaceX one.

Bob Bagdigian oversees the Environmental Control and Life Support System.

It's not all glamorous.

He explains, "One of the primary responsibilities we have within that system is to keep the urine processor assembly functioning day-to-day."

That might be the biggest set back from the SpaceX mission failure. They lost replacement pump for the system that converts urine back to water.

However, he points out, "The entire urine processor is operating as it's intended. We have one replacement pump assembly waiting to be put into service in and when it's needed. This unit we just lost was going to be a second spare unit."

It's not like the failure of the SpaceX mission stopped them from getting supplies to the ISS all together. They send global missions there pretty regularly, and this failure didn't halt them all.

ISS Payload Operations Director Rick Rodriguez notes, "The Progress vehicle, which is the Russian vehicle, docked this last Sunday. So that provides logistics and food and things for the crew members."

They've got a Japanese mission headed up in August. It will carry a back-up of the urine pump. That will help refresh the experiments on-board the ISS, though even those continue.

Rodriguez says, "We always have a slip plan. We call it a slip plan, in case a vehicle doesn't make it."

They have a robot astronaut called Robonaut already on board. He got some extra exercise this past week, since a number of experiments were destroyed in the SpaceX launch. Crews also tried their hand at planting some cabbage seeds they had on board.

So while some wait for the next re-supply mission anxiously, it doesn't mean there's been a halt in activity in the meantime.