New Space Station toilet costs US$19M

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New Space Station toilet costs US$19M

Nasa obviously feeling flush.

The International Space Station is to get new toilet facilities costing US$19M after Nasa announced that it had bought Russian hardware for the station. 

Equipment from Russian firm SP Korolev Rocket and Space includes the toilet and accompanying processing plant, a new docking ring for Space Shuttle visits and pumps for the airlock.

They will be installed next year and are expected to last until 2011.

"Similar hardware had been developed and had passed flight tests under the Mir space station programme (including Mir-Nasa and Mir-Shuttle) and is currently used in the implementation of the International Space Station programme," said SP Korolev Rocket and Space in a statement.

The new facility will be a considerable benefit to the astronauts since it will allow them to recycle urine into drinking water. The previous system stored waste in tanks that were jettisoned to burn up in the atmosphere.

The previous toilet, located in the Russian segment of the station, will still be retained for use but the new system will be built into the American section.
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