Urine Recycling Aboard the Space Shuttle

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NASA's $154 million urine recycling system on the space shuttle has broken down yet again, forcing astronauts to drink fresh water instead of recycled urine and sweat. (Gee, do ya think maybe the astronauts intentionally broke the machine so they could stop drinking recycled pee?)

Is it only me, or does NASA seem preoccupied with toilet topics? First, there's the $19 million toilet seat fiasco (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19623499/) followed by the toilet seatbelt humor (every action has an equal and opposite reaction), and now we get to hear that astronauts are drinking their own pee.

Is that really new? I know some experimental health people who drink their own pee all the time. They say it boosts their immune system function. Maybe they should work at NASA, huh? Skip the $154 million worth of recycling equipment; just be your OWN urine recycler!

But drinking your own pee in zero gravity might not be as easy as it sounds. That golden shower, folks, is not a meteor shower... Aaargh!

In the spirit of afterburner NASA toilet humor, I've released this CounterThink cartoon that wonders what happens to all the SOLID waste on board the Space Shuttle. Do they keep it on board and bring it back to Earth? If not, do they jettison it into space, encircling planet Earth with a high-orbit ring of astronaut potty? Do they eventually become rings around Uranus?

And what happens when all this solid waste falls back to Earth?

These are serious questions, folks. In no way am I attempting to exploit an uncomfortable situation aboard the space shuttle to create cheap bathroom humor.

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