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The oxygen generator on board the International Space Station has broken down again, according to reports.

Russian news agency Interfax quotes an anonymous source at Russian Mission Control as saying that the troubled Elektron generator, designed to converts waste water into hydrogen and oxygen gases, is on the blink again: "At one time (the system) started working, at another time - stopped."

The generator has been distinctly unreliable for some time, even prompting speculation that it could lead to the craft being abandoned. However, the astronauts are said to be in no danger, thanks to plenty of oxygen cannisters and back-up oxygen generating kit.

According to Space Daily, there are plans to replace the Elektron with a new Russian system later this year.

The astronauts must be getting mightily tired of this. Great views, really exclusive location, but BYO oxygen? Hmmm, we're not sure. ®

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