The first manned flight into space was made April 12, 1961 — hero became our compatriot Yuri Gagarin. Since that time people have been in space many times where they had to solve a variety of tasks. The cosmonauts and astronauts watched his health and celebrated natural needs in a specially designed toilets. Toilets that are used today in spacecraft and International space station, already tested by time and not particularly in need of improvement. But in 2024, the space Agency NASA wants to launch a man and a woman is not just into space, but directly on the surface of the moon. Researchers need to come up with a brand new space toilet, and in this case they can help ordinary people.
The toilet in space
Agency officials, NASA has announced the launch of a new contest, called Lunar Loo Challenge. It can participate every person, regardless of age and country of residence — participants were required to come up with the concept of the toilet for space mission “Artemis”. In the framework of this mission, in 2024, NASA plans to send to the moon two astronauts, male and female. They will live inside the habitable module, which is currently being developed by the specialists of the companies, Blue Origin, Dynetics and SpaceX. There will be no toilet, but in the lander that will be able to descend from orbit to the surface, the toilet just needed.
To the toilet for the lander NASA has a number of serious requirements. First, the new space toilet must not weigh more than 15 kilograms. In space energy source no and it should be treated sparingly, the device must not consume more than 70 Watts of energy. To understand this figure of power consumption is very little. Even Curling iron hair consumes about 90 Watts of energy, that is, the toilet should not consume more energy than ordinary incandescent lamp.
According to representatives NASA, space toilet needs:
- to work in zero gravity or on the surface of the moon, where gravity is six times weaker than the earth;
- to cope with different types of waste, including vomiting and food hygiene;
- to withstand a minimum of 6 uses per day and be easy to clean;
- to take a volume of no more than 0.12 cubic meter;
- to serve both men and women.
Send your project to the lunar toilet on the site of the contest, Lunar Challenge Loo. To the winner promise to pay $ 35,000 as well as give the opportunity to talk with engineers and future participants of the program “Artemis”. But that’s not all — an additional prize of a trip to the Space center Lyndon B. Johnson. Interestingly, participants will receive extra points if you come up with a toilet that does not need to bend over while vomiting.
To participate in the competition will be even teenagers up to 18 years. A good idea they will receive a certificate, gifts with logo, NASA and other prizes, about which nothing is said. Accepting applications for participation in competition is open till 17 Aug 2020.
See also: How human urine can help in the construction of buildings on the moon?
How astronauts go to the bathroom?
How it will look in the toilet to travel to the moon, yet you can’t even imagine. For what looks like a toilet in a spacecraft inside the International space station, it’s no longer a secret. Usually the toilets are space ships have relatively simple construction and represent a funnel with hoses that quickly eliminate all the waste. Simplicity due to the fact that inside of space ships astronauts are not for long — at the moment they fly inside the space station.
But on the International space station there are three toilets. The first is set in the module “Zvezda”, and the second is located in the module “Tranquility”. The third made portable, so has no primary location. Space toilets look very similar to those established in our homes. But they are called “Waste and Hygiene Compartments” and have in its design a number of complex mechanisms.
For example, the toilet is equipped with fasteners for the legs and thighs. Instead of water, use the vacuum waste eliminated by the air and fly into the suction hole. Solid waste is stored in 20 litre containers and subsequently transferred to the cargo Bay of the ship “Progress” for further utilization. And liquid waste is broken down into oxygen and water that can be reused. Before opening the door into the living room, the air from the toilet is cleaned from bacteria and odor.
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On the subject of space toilet I recommend reading the material the author Hi-News.ru Nicholas Khizhnyak. He told some stories about the problems that have plagued NASA astronauts for the last 57 years — that’s were you aware that one of the first space explorers had to “go under”?