Space station astronauts fix broken toilet: NASA

July 20, 2009

NASA avoided a rather messy situation in space Monday after giving astronauts aboard the International Space Station the green light to use a toilet after crew members worked for a day to repair it.

"The US Destiny lab has been repaired and checked out. The crew has been given a "go" to use it. All three toilets are working," NASA said in a post to the micro-blogging website Twitter.

The toilet malfunction on Sunday came just days after the seven-person crew aboard the shuttle Endeavour arrived at the space station, bringing the total number of people on the ISS to a record 13.

The toilet was likely flooded earlier in the day when its dose pump failed after running for about 15 minutes, NASA officials said.

The crew members Gennady Padalka and Frank De Winne were charged with repairing the defective toilet with spare parts on the orbiting outpost.

On Monday, forty years exactly since NASA historic Apollo 11 mission to place man on the moon, on the installed an antenna to communicate with Earth.

(c) 2009 AFP

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1 / 5 (1) Jul 21, 2009

When viewing the smiling faces of talented astronauts, it is easy to forget the routine difficulties encountered by those poor souls when they are so far away from the everyday conveniences of our comfortable lives here on planet Earth.

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel

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