Space toiletPosted: August 22, 2017
Through the magic of the internet I was able to connect with @atomicplayboy this morning at the James S. McDonnell Planetarium in the St Louis Science centre, who very kindly took me on a personal tour of their space toilet! 🚀🚽 I’ve seen a lot of loos in my life but never had any clue until today of the sit down – strap in – suction up process involved in celestial waste.
And for any fellow science geeks out there, here’s the information on how the toilet actually works:
Passing body wastes in space is no different than on the ground. In Earth’s gravity, waste materials fall away from the body and the force of moving water flushes them away. Space toilets operate in a similar way, but gentle suction and moving air take the place of gravity and draw the waste materials away from the body and into the storage containers.
In microgravity everything floats. It is important to contain all waste materials. Astronauts are very careful to maintain a good seal with the toilet seat and urinal hose. The straps, bars and handles are to assist users and hold them in place.
On a space station, wastewater is processed for reuse. The air is filtered to remove odor and bacteria then returned to the station’s air supply. Solid waste is returned to the earth for disposal.
Fascinating stuff, thanks again Michael!