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Holy Crap! Toilet Problem Could Force Space Station Evacuation!

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posted on Jun, 4 2008 @ 08:34 AM
For want of a bolt, the battle was lost. Now, hold your I mean your nose! The toilet on board the multi billion dollar ISS has gone bust! Now that stinks! Why the devil can't they invent a fail safe toilet? Imagine the consequences on a manned mission to Mars!! The poor sods would be up the creek without a darn paddle!

Pic: Fox News

Now a Russian space official says that if the repair, scheduled for Wednesday, doesn't fix the situation, the space station's crew of three may have to come home early.

Yep! Better than get fumigated, what?

Mod Note: Profanity/Circumvention Of Censors – Please Review This Link.

[edit on 6-6-2008 by Jbird]

posted on Jun, 4 2008 @ 08:58 AM
When I first heard about the toilet a few weeks ago, I was pretty sure that NASA said that the "solid-waste disposal" aspect of the toilet still works (information which is backed up by this new article). However, stale urine does't smell very good, either.

I could be wrong, but I suspect that the "repair parts" the shuttle brought up to the station will fix it just fine.

One would think that it would be a good idea to have a second toilet on the station, even if it cost a full extra hundred thousand dollars. Face it -- everybody poops.

posted on Jun, 4 2008 @ 01:13 PM
Seems like this is fixed...
The international space station's toilet trouble appeared to be taken care of Wednesday after a Russian cosmonaut replaced a malfunctioning pump.

Space station toilet trouble fixed

Was it Russian cosmonaut or some Alien

[edit on 4-6-2008 by communicator]

posted on Jun, 4 2008 @ 01:26 PM
This has been blown completely out of proportion.

NASA said the main ISS toilet works for solid waste disposal but has an intermittent problem handling liquid waste. It's good for about three flushes and then requires some time-consuming maintenance and two pairs of hands before it will work again.

"It takes 10 minutes and two crew members," Shireman. "You can see how inconvenient that is."

It's little more than an inconvienience at this time.

Edit: Sp

[edit on 4-6-2008 by SystemiK]


posted on Jun, 4 2008 @ 03:26 PM
They could have saved millions of dollars and just stuck a sign above it...

"If it's yellow let it mellow. If it's brown flush it down."

posted on Jun, 4 2008 @ 06:34 PM
This will probably be more than you really want to know about toilets,
but here goes......

As of this post there are 3 toilets at the space station, plus other options.

The first is the main ISS toilet in the Zvezda module, an ASU-8A Waste Management System:

The toilet on the International Space Station located in the Zvezda module uses a fan-driven suction system similar to the Space Shuttle WCS. Liquid waste is collected in 20 liter containers. Solid waste is collected in individual micro-perforated bags which are stored in an aluminum container. Full containers are transferred to Progress for disposal.

A second permanent toilet will be added when Node 3 goes up:

An additional Waste and Hygiene Compartment is scheduled be part of the Node 3 module to be launched in 2010. In 2007, NASA purchased a Russian-made toilet similar to the one already aboard ISS rather than develop one internally.

And as posted above, the one on Zvezda is now repaired and fully functional.

Could you imagine trying to use it though ?
Apparently a tight seal between the user and the device is very important.

The Soyuz return capsule also has a toilet, but is only for very limited use.
Before a launch they go through a pre-launch bowel clearing to minimize it's use.

For urination (with the control panel switch set to #1) a replaceable funnel is used. The waste is sucked into a collection tank (there are ten in the module), and the air circulates through a charcoal filter before being sent back into the cabin. According to this post at, “women use a sanitary-napkin-type pad which absorbs fluid”, which doesn’t sound too appealing! If the electric air pump fails, a device with a rubber-bulb hand pump serves as a backup.

For defecation (switch set to #2), a disposable bag is put into a container, which has an air suction tube connected to the container (the airflow goes through the bag and a charcoal filter). A carton cover needs to be removed from the bag before insertion; it contains some sanitizing chemicals and toilet paper (the latter is also removed). The user positions the device against their posterior. After finishing, a string around the edge of the bag snaps a rolled rubber cover into place, hermetically sealing the contents. After securely tying it with rubber ties (similar to the ones used to tie up the lining of the Sokol spacesuit), the bag insert is removed and put into another rubberized bag. This is placed into yet another bag, hermetically sealed and placed in a waste container with other rubbish (it will all burn up when the Orbital Module is discarded upon descent).

The third toilet at the ISS right now is the one aboard the Shuttle, called the WCS.
They dehydrate solid waste and dump liquid overboard, and it looks somewhat civilized.

As mechanical as it looks it still doesn't have a robotic arm that will wipe your bum.:shk:

(NASA image)

I think the picture mike posted in the OP is just a ground based mock up, not something that has ever flown in space. And no, there was never any real concern about abandoning ship over no place to poop, they would use a baggy before they decided to return home.

It's a crappy subject, but hey, "Everyone Poops"

Thank God they don't fly elephants......

And if all else fails, this training information may need a revision for space travel...

Potty on my friends,
Our bodies have evolved to eliminate waste at 1G, but without gravity you will still need to go powder your nose or drop a bomb while you read the sports section.
Go forth into the unknown, void your bladder & evacuate that bowel however you can.

Edit: And where the hell is Dr Love when you need him

This is a perfectly good defecating thread and I look forward to his input.

[edit on 5/6/2008 by anxietydisorder]

posted on Jun, 4 2008 @ 08:19 PM
reply to post by anxietydisorder

If I could have flagged your crappy post I would have but here.....have a star instead. Nice job on the crapper research!

posted on Jun, 5 2008 @ 02:34 AM

Originally posted by SystemiK

If I could have flagged your crappy post I would have..........

No worries mate, most of my posts are full of crap anyway, you can flag one of my own threads if you think it's worthy.

I might even ground myself a bit and go dump in the woods the next chance I get, and I'll even wipe with leaves. After seeing what the astronauts go through I might take comfort in the underside of a maple leaf or a smooth stone.

The most basic function of the human body has been turned into a billion dollar dump once you leave the planet. :shk:

posted on Jun, 5 2008 @ 02:53 AM
I suppose the problem will have inventors scrambling to make the next model! Such a basic need here on earth, but in space being able to go to the bathroom is all about technology. They have to have it and it has to work or all the other technology in space that includes human astronauts is not worth a dime. Hey, I wonder what the monkeys did when they went?


posted on Jun, 5 2008 @ 06:48 AM
What they need is a small artificial gravity module dedicated to exercise and the latrine. Forget all the vacuum seals and pumps. Just flush. I doubt the ISS will ever have one, but one would hope private enterprise makes this a priority. If the first space hotels do not, that will make for an interesting moment when they come to that part during the sales presentation.

posted on Jun, 6 2008 @ 02:29 AM

Originally posted by anxietydisorder
The most basic function of the human body has been turned into a billion dollar dump once you leave the planet. :shk:

ad, your posts were mind blowing! FOFLMGO (Fell On The Floor Laughing My Guts Out)!!

But they were pretty informative too. A star for you!

Now what do we have here? Million dollar space turds!!
Wow! Now I’m sure Christie’s are gonna latch on and auction them for a million dollars a piece! And there are nuts galore out there who’ll lap them up without batting an eye!

And where the hell is Dr Love when you need him

This is a perfectly good defecating thread and I look forward to his input.

Ahh! So he's the turd expert, what? Phtoooey!!

Aw shucks! What a crappy thread! Its makin' me sick!!

[edit on 6-6-2008 by mikesingh]

posted on Jun, 6 2008 @ 08:42 AM
Where do the astronauts put the sports page/magazine when they're done dropping a deuce?

Honestly, they should have a private room where you just float and crap, catch it in the air with a Glad bag (kind of like that elephant pic, but in zero-G), seal it up and put it in some kind of storage device.


posted on Jun, 6 2008 @ 12:52 PM
reply to post by Dr Love

...and just pray that it all comes out "solid", if you know what I mean.

ps...I can't believe I'm talking about the "firmness and consistency" of crap here on ATS.

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