Mission Control has instructed astronauts to hang an “out of service” sign on the toilet at the International Space Station (ISS), currently home to a record 13 astronauts, until it can be fixed. In the meantime, Endeavour’s crew is using the toilet on board their space shuttle; other ISS residents are using a backup toilet in the Russian part of the station, the BBC reports. If worse comes to worst, NASA reports that “Apollo-era urine collection bags” are available. The toilet, which is Russian-made and cost millions of dollars, was launched into space and attached to the US side of the ISS last year. It has broken down once before, prompting space shuttle Discovery to rush up a replacement part in 2008. And this isn’t the only time the ISS toilet has caused friction among astronauts: last year, a Russian crew member complained of being blocked from using the U.S. toilet due to billing and cost concerns.
Space station toilet "out of service"
13 astronauts but no plumber among them
FILED UNDER: space