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9 Jul, 2010 08:56

Space trouble: ISS missing oxygen and toilet

The American segment of the International Space Station has received a double hit by malfunctioning equipment. Both the toilet and the oxygen regenerator have broken down almost simultaneously.

Now NASA astronauts are relying on their Russian colleagues for both respiration and waste disposal, a source in the space industry told Interfax news agency.

The oxygen regenerator went out of service on Monday, but NASA did not report on it until Friday. Meanwhile, the Russian-built toilet in the American sector broke on Tuesday. So far, all attempts to fix the devices have failed, but mission control says they have alternative solutions.

The ISS is currently manned by six people, three Russian cosmonauts and three NASA astronauts.