The sordid saga of a love-struck, diaper-clad astronaut has transformed a somewhat obscure NASA undergarment into a cultural phenomenon.
According to a 1998 Associated Press article, astronauts were outfitted with Depend adult diapers and an inserted pad called Rejoice, made by a Seattlecompany.
But a spokesman for Kimberly-Clark, which makes Depends, insisted the product isn't used in space. And the Seattlecompany apparently went out of business.
A NASA spokeswoman said the official brand used now is Absorbencies, manufactured by a company that has folded.
Fortunately, NASA owns a huge stockpile. The agency snapped up 3,200 of the diapers about 15 years ago, the spokeswoman said, and "we still have about a third of the supply left."
On space shuttle missions, each crew member receives three diapers — for launch, reentry and a spare in case reentry has to be waved off and tried later.