"Out of Order" Sign Graces ISS Toilet As 13 Cramped Spacefarers Share Two Stalls

Illustration for article titled Out of Order Sign Graces ISS Toilet As 13 Cramped Spacefarers Share Two Stalls

Following another space-related toilet malfunction, there are currently 13 astronauts and cosmonauts sharing two toilets in orbit around the earth.


Worse still, it may be clogged, although not with the kind of stuff you'd think. Nay, no plunger will help in this case, as the clog is chemical in nature, and may have seeped into the figurative space station woodwork.


Unfortunately, mission control and the astronauts have few leads into why the multi-million dollar Russian-built space john crapped the bed for a second time in the past two years. Previously, the toilet was so crippled by whatever it was the astronauts were eating up there that the fix required an emergency replacement pump delivery from space shuttle Discovery.

For now, the 13 crew members on board have to split their number one's and two's between the remaining ISS toilet and one aboard the shuttle. If another toilet fails, the crew can fall back on Apollo-era waste collection bag, which is nice because we're currently celebrating that mission's 40th anniversary. [BBC]

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The engineers failed to appreciate the gravity of the shituation.