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jzermeno

How do Astronauts Go to the Bathroom in Space?


jzermeno

jzermeno said...

There are many things we take for granted here on Earth that take on a whole new set of problems when you are in space orbiting the Earth. One of the most frequently asked questions that NASA receives involves bathroom rituals. Let’s see what a trip to the bathroom on orbit entails. Since astronauts are in a weightless environment, there is not enough gravity to hold a toilet bowl full of water in place or even keep the gross things that typically end up in a toilet from floating around. Because everything floats, NASA had to develop a way to use air flow to make the urine or feces go where they wanted and not floating around in the space craft. There is a toilet on each of the space shuttles and on the International Space Station that can be used by men or women. Although it is designed to look and work like toilets on Earth, there are a number of changes. Straps are in place to hold feet against the floor and pivoting bars swing across the thighs, ensuring the user remains seated “on target”. Once your seat is seated, a negative airflow or vacuum is activated, ensuring a tight seal all around your bottom. Besides the main toilet bowl, there is a hose that is used to collect liquid waste. When it comes time to clean up, there are numerous dry and moist wipes available. There is a separate receptacle where you depose of the wipes. All three units use air flow instead of water to move waste through the system. The solid waste is separated, compressed, stored on-board, and then removed after landing. On the Space Shuttle the liquid waste is vented out into space, but on the International Space Station, the liquid waste may be recycled to cool electrical systems on board. Believe it or not astronauts have to practice using the space toilet at Johnson Space Center before they go into space. Like all technology, it best to very familiar with how it works you don’t end up in a messy situation…

jzermeno

jzermeno said...

source link for answer 1.

http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/about/information/shuttle_faq.html

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