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How do you go to the bathroom in space?


Several people have asked this question, so here is some information. There’s even a book. How Do You Go To The Bathroom In Space? [Paperback] William R. Pogue (Author) at Amazon.com


Toilet Use: http://space.about.com/cs/spaceshuttles/a/bathroominspace.htm

Since there is no gravity to either hold a toilet bowl full of water in place or pull human wastes down, designing a toilet for zero-gravity was not an easy task. NASA had to develop a way to use air flow to make the urine or feces go where they wanted.

There is a toilet on each space shuttle which can be used by men or women. Although it is designed to be as much as possible like those on Earth, there are a number of changes. Straps are in place to hold feet against the floor. Pivoting bars swing across the thighs, ensuring the user remains seated. Since the system operates on a vacuum, a tight seal is essential.

Besides the main toilet bowl, there is a hose, which is utilized as a urinal by men and women. It can be used in a standing position or can be attached to the commode by a pivoting mounting bracket for use in a sitting position. A separate receptacle allows for disposal of wipes. All three units use flowing air instead of water to move waste through the system.

The human waste is separated and solid wastes are compressed and stored on-board, and then removed after landing. Waste water is vented to space, although future systems may recycle it. The air is filtered to remove odor and bacteria and then returned to the cabin.

Hopefully, there is sufficient reading material aboard for the task.

The Orbital Workshop waste management compartment

NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (NASA-MSFC) A wide-angle view of the Orbital Workshop waste management compartment. The actual toilet's down the hall, to your right.

Other links:

http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/ask_astro/answers/970411a.html

http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/people/journals/space/keith/05-25-98.html

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5 Responses

  1. How do you go to the bathroom in space? I always love that question. Every kid asks that question on astronaut study trips. Great info.

  2. Now this is a great site full on hot content and relevant information. Keep posting information like this and I will bookmark your website for more great content for the followers of our website.

  3. Things I wanted to know, but was too scared to ask 🙂

  4. Thanks, Carolyn. : )

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