The astronauts expected to leave the International Space Station in the coming days will be trapped using nappies on their way home due to their broken toilet.
NASA astronomer Megan McArthur described the situation on Friday as "bad" but uncontrollable.
"Spaceflight is full of small challenges," he said during a news conference from orbit. “This is the only thing we will meet and take care of in our work. So we're not too worried about it. ”
The journey home can take up to 20 hours.
After a series of meetings on Friday, the mission managers decided to bring McArthur and his entire team home before establishing their vacancies. The launch of SpaceX had been delayed for more than a week due to bad weather and an undisclosed medical problem involving one of the crew.
SpaceX is now heading for Wednesday night.
French astronomer Thomas Pesquet told reporters that the past six months had been tense. The astronauts developed a series of space trails to upgrade the station's power grid, tolerated indirect car bombings by stationary Russian vehicles that sent the station briefly, and hosted an independent Russian film crew - the space station first.
They also had to deal with toilet leaks, pulling the panels out of their SpaceX cap and finding urine pools. The problem first became apparent during a private SpaceX flight in September, when the tube arrived undisturbed and spilled urine under the floorboards. SpaceX fixed the toilet in the cap waiting to be removed, but took that one in orbit as unusable.
The engineers determined that the capsule had not been exposed to urine and was safe to return.
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On the culinary side, astronauts have grown the first pepper in the atmosphere - "good energy," according to McArthur. They had to sample their harvest last week, adding pieces of green and red pepper to the tacos.
"They have a good smell on them, a little burning that doesn't go away," he said. “Some have found that this is more difficult than others.”
Also returning with McArthur and Pesquet: NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough and Japanese astronomer Akihiko Hoshide. SpaceX introduced itself to the space station on April 23. Their crew is authorized to stay 210 days in space, and as Friday marks their 196th day from above, NASA is looking forward to returning them as soon as possible.
One American and two Russians will stay at the space station following their departure. While it would be better if their successors arrived first - to share tips on staying in space - Kimbrough said the remaining NASA star would fill in for the new ones.