SpaceX Has Fixed Crew Dragon Toilet Issues


During the SpaceX Inspriation4 mission that sent a crew full of civilians into space, one issue was noted that had to be addressed before another flight. That issue had to do with the toilet. SpaceX was rather coy on exactly what the issue was. However, they have been clear that no fluids escaped from the toilet aboard the capsule.

NASA has to approve changes to the toilet of the Crew Dragon capsule. We now know what the issue that caused a problem with the toilet was. “There’s a storage tank where the the urine goes to be stored [and] there’s a tube that came disconnected or came unglued,” said William Gerstenmaier, a former associate administrator at NASA who now works as SpaceX’s head of mission assurance. “That allowed urine essentially to not go into the storage tank, but essentially go into the fan system.”

Leaked fluids didn’t get into the cabin. Rather, they were circulating under the floor. However, SpaceX did remove the flooring after the mission returned home and confirmed there was contamination underneath.

Interestingly, a similar toilet issue surfaced during a mission to the ISS in April, but it wasn’t as big of a problem because the mission was only a trip to the ISS rather than days in orbit. To eliminate the issue, Spacex has a fix. The tube that caused the issue has been welded in place. NASA has to approve the final fix, but it is expected to do so.