NASA Designs Space Suit Equipped With Built-In Toilet; Astronauts Can Now Defecate Without Taking Them Off
While on an important space mission, it sure must be a bother to get out of the space suit to answer nature’s call. And NASA has found a way of this concern. Astronauts on NASA’s next-generation Orion spacecraft will be able to avoid visiting the lavatory during missions, all thanks to a new suit. The Mirror reports that NASA is busy producing new astronaut clobber that includes a long-term waste disposal system. The new space suits have been designed in a way that astronauts can survive in them for up to six days and should be able to breathe, eat and defecate without taking them off!
The Orion will reportedly carry humans beyond low Earth orbit, possibly to the moon and back again. Which is why NASA is harking back to the designs of the Apollo missions for its new suits. The new suits will sustain the crew in the case of sudden loss of cabin pressure and supply vital features like life-support and waste disposal. Well, this doesn’t mean the Orion will take off without a toilet. There is a space toilet, but there is no harm in being extra prepared, isn’t it? These suits contain a faecal bag and, for men, a condom catheter that fits over the penis and has a tube at the end to collect the urine. While this method has been used since the 1970s and remains one of the most straightforward methods of relieving yourself in space, a female urine-disposal system isn’t fully developed yet.
Space.com quotes a NASA engineer, Kirstyn Johnson, saying, “For females, it gets a little harder, obviously, because of the geometry of a person’s body, and then you have to deal with issues like pubic hair.” The new suits for both men and women come equipped with what are called maximum absorbency garments (MAG’s). These are, in simple words, adult nappies, just in case. It might be noted that the Orion craft was announced by NASA in 2014. It is intended to carry a crew of four beyond low Earth orbit and is currently undergoing further testing.