Space Station Toilet Calling Astroplumber!

By Mat Probasco,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 20, 2009 1:21 AM CDT
The international space station is shown shortly after the space shuttle Endeavour docked last Friday.   (AP Photo/NASA TV)
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(Newser) – A broken toilet is turning into a real pain on the International Space Station, reports The record 13 astronauts in the station are forced to queue up for the one remaining functional commode, or use the facilities aboard the space shuttle Endeavor, currently docked there, say NASA officials.

Plumbing problems on Earth can be expensive to fix, but the bill for the busted 8-month-old, $19 million toilet could be astronomical. An early diagnosis by space-scientists-turned-plumbers is that a flooded liquid separator is causing the trouble. In a real pinch, station crew could resort to the "bag system" similar to what Apollo astronauts used for relief.