Sunday, July 19, 2009

Plumbing in space

No matter how exotic or awesome space travel may seem, it still has its problems, especially when the commodes start acting up.
One of two toilets on the International Space Station is apparently broken, NASA announced Sunday.

It's too early to tell if the toilet has a serious problem, or can be fixed quickly, space station flight director Brian Smith said.

The station is currently host to 13 people - a record number of crewmembers onboard at once. While that toilet, which is in the U.S. Destiny laboratory, is down, astronauts can use the other almost identical facility in the Russian Zvezda service module, as well as the toilet onboard the space shuttle Endeavour, which has been docked since Friday.

"We don't yet know the extent of the problem," Smith said. "It could turn out to be of no consequence at all. It could turn out to be significant."

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