Crisis in Orbit: Space-Station Toilet Breaks Down

There's a bit of a stinky situation in space.

The main toilet aboard the International Space Station has broken down, forcing the three crew members to use the loo on the Soyuz escape craft that's permanently attached to the ISS, according to various media reports.

However, the Soyuz head will offer only temporary relief, as its holding tank will quickly fill up.

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To remedy the problem, space shuttle Discovery will bring spare parts for the Russian-built space toilet when it launches to the ISS Saturday.

"The Zvezda service module toilet experienced additional difficulties Tuesday morning," the latest NASA update dryly reports.

In any case, the malfunctioning toilet's days are numbered. In the fall, it will be replaced by a state-of-the-art system that will transform astronaut urine into drinking water.

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