Elon Musk’s SpaceX was supposed to revolutionize space travel, reduce the price of interstellar transportation, even lead to the colonization of Mars. Perhaps one day all that will be true. But right now, a SpaceX flight due soon for re-entry on Earth has a little problem: The toilet is broken, and it won’t be fixed until after its return. So everyone put their heads together, just like in Apollo 13, and this is the best solution they came up with: Those on board will just have to pee themselves.
As per CNN, SpaceX’s Crew Dragon ship — which is currently docked at ISIS, the International Space Station, having deposited them there back in April — is fine save a leak in the toilet. That will force the four NASA astronauts who will soon be onboard to use their “undergarments” instead.
That’s not as bad as it may sound. First, the “undergarments” are essentially diapers anyway, and have long been used as backups on flights. Second, it’s unknown how long the four will be in flight, though the last such trip took only six hours, though the one before that took 19 hours. Perhaps they can hold it.
This isn’t the first toilet leak on the Crew Dragon capsule. On the Inspiration4 mission in September, crew found a tube, that was used to funnel urine into a storage tank, had become unglued, leading to a hidden mess beneath the capsule floor. In fact, all three SpaceX spacecraft have had similar issues, which is probably in no way symbolic of a larger issue.
Musk is one of at least three billionaires who’ve caught space fever, leading to rivalries, even razzing. But only Musk is the one who’s enticed the likes of Tom Cruise and Channing Tatum to potentially join him in the heavens. If they go, however, they’d do well to not chug Big Gulps prior to takeoff.