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Introduction to Top 10 Moments in Space Bathroom History
Space Shuttle Image Gallery
Space Shuttle Image Gallery

Even in outer space, astronauts have to sleep, eat -- and relieve themselves. See more pictures of the space shuttle.

Digital Vision/Getty Images

Even when you're millions of miles from home, you can't escape certain facts of life. When astronauts are orbiting hundreds of miles above Earth's surface, they still have to eat, sleep and go to the bathroom. Of course, the mechanics of using the toilet -- and disposing of the resulting waste -- in zero gravity can get a little tricky.

Since the very earliest space missions, a number of contraptions have helped astronauts relieve themselves more easily. These inventions run the gamut from simple adult diapers to more sophisticated toilet systems that actually can convert urine into drinkable water. Throughout the history of space exploration, spacecraft have come equipped with their own toilets. Despite this, there have been a few hitches over the years -- including broken toilets and disputes over sharing bathrooms -- that have made going to the bathroom in space an adventure in and of itself.

Take a trip with HowStuffWorks.com down aerospace memory lane and learn about some of the bathroom moments that have given astronauts the greatest relief and aggravation over the years.

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