Come on, going to the bathroom is very important. Either on earth or on the moon. How about a zero gravity toilet? NASA will test one on the International Space Station (ISS). Its possible use will be pointed out in a future mission to the moon. It’s titanium and a bit expensive. It’s about the $ 23 million toilet. But everything is for convenience.
Space travel of a toilet
The device sucks in the waste that the body produces. And it will arrive on the ISS with a cargo missile. NASA calls it the “Universal Waste Management System” (UWMS). It will help astronauts conduct space missions “bravely”. Unlike previous models, it was designed for the comfort of female astronauts.
The rocket with the toilet would launch this Thursday, but the mission was canceled for technical reasons. It finally started on Friday evening. It should arrive on Monday morning, US Eastern Time, 9:20 GMT.
The $ 23 million toilet uses a vacuum system. It sucks in the waste the body produces in a non-gravity environment. For privacy reasons, the toilet is in a cubicle. It’s like a public bathroom on earth … hopefully without the pints.
According to NASA, the toilet is an upgrade of the facilities in the US section of the ISS. It weighs about 45 kg. The toilet is 65% smaller and 40% lighter than the one currently in use. The designers also paid more attention to the comfort of the astronauts. “A big part of our project was optimizing toilet use for the women’s team,” said Melissa McKinley. He is a project manager for NASA at CBS News. “NASA spent a lot of time with the crew. He conducted reviews to improve the use of the toilet seat and urine funnel. We wanted to make it more comfortable for the crew, ”he said.
Toilet on the moon
These design improvements will be tested on the ISS. They are then placed in the Orion capsules that take the astronauts to the moon. The astronauts hope for a successful attempt in the truest sense of the word. Clearing a mess is a big problem. We don’t want any failures or leaks, ”said McKinley. As if we don’t know.
The Antares missile will deliver the new toilet. It is part of a cargo that also contains scientific equipment and supplies for the ISS. Space toilets “draw in urine and feces with a stream of air, which the body expels. It puts them in the right containers, “says NASA.
NASA astronaut Jessica Meir described the toilet as a “vacuum system”. Imagine having a vacuum cleaner and vacuuming things up. Like turning on a big fan that pulls everything down the toilet, “he said. There is a specially shaped funnel for urine and a seat for bowel movements. They can be used at the same time.
“The UWMS seat can look uncomfortably small and pointed. But in weightlessness it’s ideal, “NASA said.” Provides ideal body contact to make sure everything goes where it should. “When astronauts sit on the toilet, they can use footrests and grab bars. They can’t float away.
The toilet can process and recycle urine as drinking water for astronauts. As Meir said on the ISS: “Today’s coffee is tomorrow’s coffee.” Feces are not treated equally. But … NASA says they are looking into this possibility. As if to stop you from being an astronaut.
“Like everything else, you have to get used to going to the bathroom in space,” said Meir. Whatever. It’s part of the glamor of space living to get used to things like the $ 23 million toilet.