How to Poop in Space

/ 3 years ago


Have you ever wondered how to poop in space? Probably not, or at least not before you saw the Wolowitz Zero Gravity Waste Disposal system on the Big Bang Theory. Either way, there is no need to wonder any more as Montana-based scientist Hank Green has created a video where he explains how number one and number two works when there isn’t any gravity.

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As you might imagine, it isn’t as easy as down here on earth. Where we have an opening of 30 to 45cm to work with, astronauts on the ISS only have ten centimetre. Restrains are used to help the astronauts to keep the contact while doing their business. To learn this, yes astronauts need to do another round of potty-training, they have a training toilet with a camera inside. This is so they can learn to position their rear at just the right position.

The toilet itself works like a vacuum cleaner, sucking all the waste up. The solid waste is collected, stored and then transported back to earth while the fluids get recycled into drinking water and for the showers.

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If the number two part sounded tricky, it isn’t much compared to urinating, that involves the risk of injury. Each astronaut has a personal urinal funnel that attaches to a hose adapter. When used, a fan system sucks the urine into the waste tank. For the male astronauts this can be tricky, as they need to hold it close enough to catch all the urine, but not so close that the fan catches the wang. Women have it a little easier there, they can attach the funnel directly against their bodies where it adheres to them before the system is turned on.

A space toilet is no cheap deal, costing upwards of £11 million alone, and the entire system costs about £150 million. The high price is due to the purification and recycling system that was taken into use in 2008. The purification process is done by a keg-sized distiller that creates artificial gravity while boiling the liquid. Eventually Nasa also hopes to generate electricity using the urine in a process known as forward osmosis.

Thank you to DailyMail for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

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