NASA’s Space Poop Challenge

Orion Credit: NASA

Credit: NASA

Two inextricably linked stories for the reader to digest:

“Because flights to deep space will not rely on resupply spacecraft to deliver what astronauts need and dispose of trash, the Orion crew will have to take everything they need with them and bring it all back home. Given the distances Orion will travel, teams also must limit Orion’s mass, since a heavier spacecraft requires more fuel and energy to propel it to its ultimate destination.

To help reduce the amount of supplies Orion will carry for its crew, scientists are developing a variety of food bars that astronauts can eat for breakfast during their spaceflight missions.”

Space Poop Challenge 

Description: ​The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) seeks proposed solutions for fecal, urine, and menstrual management systems to be used in the crew’s launch and entry suits over a continuous duration of up to 144 hours. An in-suit waste management system would be beneficial for contingency scenarios or for any long duration tasks.

Note: One of the least glamorous aspects of space travel to be sure. As anyone who has ready deeply into the Gemini and Apollo mission reports will attest, long duration stays in a cramped capsules inevitably lead to South Park level banter among highly trained people who happen to be living in ridiculously close proximity.

After initially glossing over the fact that its original plans called for no toilet at all to be included in its $16 billion dollar Orion space capsule, NASA has belatedly added what it describes as “camping style” toilet in vehicle descriptions. Oddly enough, the change appeared to happen after Russia began boasting that its next generation crew vessel would include such a luxury.



Posted in: NASA, SLS / Orion

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