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Toilet breaks at International Space Station

by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) May 28, 2008
It's bad enough when the toilet gets clogged at home; it could be a lot more serious in space, especially with visitors on the way.

NASA said Wednesday that the liquid waste handling function of the toilet at the International Space Station (ISS) had malfunctioned the day before and that the three astronauts aboard had to use the toilet at the Soyuz capsule moored at the station.

Eventually the two Russians and one American at the orbiting station were able to fix up a "urine bypass" on the ISS toilet, located on the Zvezda module, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration said.

NASA spokeswoman Nicole Cloutier told AFP that the space shuttle Discovery, scheduled to arrive at the ISS Monday with seven astronauts aboard, would be carrying toilet parts to help repair the station's prickly plumbing.

"It's not really an emergency, they have many options available if they need," Cloutier said from the Johnson Space Center in Texas.

"There is another toilet ready to fly in the fall, in order to have two toilets on board for when they'll have the expanded crew of six" at the ISS, she said.

"There also other devices if they really need to ...kinds of bags," she added.

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NASA: Space station view is good this week
Washington (UPI) May 20, 2008
The U.S. space agency says this is a good week to get "an incredible view" of the International Space Station flying 220 miles above the Earth.

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