NASA buys $19M Toilet System

Kennedy Space Center (AP) - When does a toilet cost $19 million? When it's being used in space.

NASA has agreed to pay $19 million for a Russian-built toilet system for the International Space Station. NASA says it would cost even more to build its own system, plus astronauts already use a similar one at the space station.

The space station toilet physically resembles those used on Earth, except it has leg restraints and thigh bars to keep astronauts and cosmonauts in place. Fans suck waste into the commode.

Crew members also have individual urine funnels which are attached to hoses, and the urine is deposited into a wastewater tank. The new system will be able to transfer urine to a device that can produce drinking water.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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