Astronauts will need to rely on their "undergarments."
SpaceX engineers won't be able fix the leaky toilet aboard the Crew Dragon spacecraft of the company in time to allow NASA astronauts to launch.
The crew-3 rocket headed to the International Space Station will be launched this week. Their solution? Astronauts will have to use their spacesuits as diapers.
NASA's Commercial Crew Program Manager Steve Stich said to reporters Friday that astronauts would need to rely on their undergarments. CNN reports this is a throwback back to the way astronauts used to do business during long space walks.
This admission is yet another reminder of the extraordinary engineering challenge that space toilets still pose, even after so many decades of spaceflight.
SpaceX engineers discovered something very disturbing while inspecting another Crew Dragon spacecraft, ironically named Resilience. SpaceX engineers discovered that the toilet had placed human urine in a chamber beneath the capsules floor, while four uninformed space tourists enjoyed a three-day joyride around Earth.
Inspiration4 also experienced problems with the lavatory during their jorney. They had to deal with a malfunctioning vent fan.
The same issue was found in the Crew Dragon capsule Endurance. This capsule was supposed to transport a crew of four to Sunday's ISS. Yesterday's launch was delayed for the second consecutive time by an apparently unrelated medical issue. The capsule will launch on Saturday night.
The urine did not cause any permanent damage to either spacecraft, but it won't provide much relief to astronauts who are stuck in the capsule for 24 hours or more while they travel to the orbital outpost.
SpaceX officials last week announced that they had solved the problem of spraying space toilets. However, Stich's Friday comments suggest that the fix is still not in place.
Let's hope this weeks crew has the endurance to make it all the way to the ISS without diapers. Space travel isn't always glamorous as we might like.
READ MORE: SpaceX Toilet Problem Will Force Astronauts to Use Backup Undergarments [CNN]
SpaceX claims that the toilet is no longer oozing human pee.
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