A NASA status report revealed a bit of drama involving the International Space Station’s toilet last week. According to the report, the problem happened while installing a new double stall enclosure in the ISS’ Node 3 ‘Tranquility’ section. Around 9.5 liters of water leaked while installing the new Universal Waste Management System, requiring the astronauts to sop it up with towels.
Node 3 was on the receiving end of a new double stall enclosure last week, which provides the crew with two privacy stalls: one for the Toilet System and one for the Hygiene Compartment. That’s the good news.
The bad news is that installing the new system didn’t go entirely smoothly. According to NASA, a large amount of water leaked when the potable water bus Quick Disconnect was de-mated. Around 9.5 liters managed to spill out before the crew managed to isolate the water bus, giving them a chance to re-mate the leaking component and use towels to soak up the big pool of water.
The team used a different Quick Disconnect to finish installing the new Universal Waste Management System. This new system brings with it the good parts from past designs, but offers other improvements from the existing Waste Collection System hardware on the ISS and from the Space Shuttle.
The International Space Station is scheduled to receive a new Toilet System early next year, but will continue using its existing one until then. The double stall enclosure was successfully installed and, presumably, the water was been dealt with.