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!
Board games plastered over the walls of The Mud House, a homely little cafe just south of downtown St Louis
One thing I noticed when I was in Missouri was that the urinals extend horizontal from the wall rather than vertical. This was at the Budweiser Brewery Experience in St Louis.
I went to St Louis with some friends to see the Solar Eclipse! One particular place I really wanted to check out was the Venice Cafe as a friendly tipster on Reddit suggested it to be worthy of a Toilography visit. Not only were their magnificently mosaiced toilets a huge drawcard, the whole damn venue was one of the funkiest, artsiest bars I’ve ever been to. It’s up there with the Papermoon Diner in Baltimore.
Here’s the walk down to the beautiful basement shitters:
And here are some of the other captivating pieces of art throughout the building, both toilets and non-toilets. The bartender told us that every day at least one new piece of art is added to the collection.