Short of the airlock opening in the space station and sucking you out to die in a vacuum, what's the worst thing that could happen during your visit to the International Space Station? If you guessed "the toilet breaking," you're the big winner! Because that's exactly what happened this week.


While the solid waste functions of the toilet are still functioning all right, the liquid waste fan is working intermittently. So while the crew awaits a possible space plumber from the upcoming Discovery mission (that had planned on docking at the station anyway), they've made due with a backup "bag-like" system.

But what are the real implications of a broken toilet? Maybe NASA's Allard Beutel summed it up best:

Like any home anywhere, the importance of having a working bathroom is obvious.