NASA spent five years and $ 23 million to this year, the astronauts received a new toilet. Its most important difference from its predecessors – the lightness, compactness and portability.
Modern toilets, with which the astronauts were flying in was like a closet with a toilet and waste storage containers, said Thebabel. The system continues to improve, but it looked like the first space toilets – further into the material.
About the new toilet
The modern bathroom has developed from 2015. The project for NASA was worth $ 23 million. It is compact and its design was developed taking into account the needs of female crew.
This prototype is now sent to the ISS to test it in the field.
Research sample toilet / Photo: NASA
The history of toilets
The emergence of latex cuffs
In microgravity on the ISS is very difficult to go to the toilet. Even today the astronauts the best of conditions, but first, NASA did not pay attention to important human needs. For example, the first American who went into space in 1961, Alan Shepard had to urinate in a spacesuit. Though cotton underwear were all soaked, but to call hygienic this method difficult.
Later, NASA began the development of sanitary equipment for the astronauts. Then invented a collection device of urine from the latex. They are mounted on the body under clothing. The device looked like cuffs which were connected with the device a plastic tube with valve and clip. The cuffs were of three sizes and was meant only for the men astronauts. The system was not too reliable and often leaked.
A set of six latex cuffs / Photo: Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
But the process of emptying the rectum was even more difficult. The first accessories that looked like bags were attached to the buttocks of the astronauts. In the instructions to this unit stated: after defecation, a member of the crew must seal the bag and knead it to mix a liquid bactericide with the contents. This will provide the necessary degree of stabilisation of faeces. Because of this, astronauts often drank laxatives before the flight and during the flight they were drinking medication that caused the intestines to work slower.
A device for collecting urine that the astronauts wore under clothes / Photo: Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Space station Skylab
In 1973, NASA built its first space station Skylab. The station was equipped with shower “cubicle” and a restroom. The toilet looked like a hole in the wall through which waste was absorbed and got into the packages. To take a shower, the astronauts had to lift it and attach to the ceiling around the mixer.
Shower for the astronauts / Photo: NASA
Restroom / Photo: NASA
The appearance of the restrooms on the space Shuttle
In the 80-ies of the latrines appeared on the space Shuttle. These toilets were already more like the usual for people toilets, but the hole was much narrower. They were better than the previous one, but it was pretty easy. Astronauts trained before flying on a special simulator.
Watch the video: looked like a toilet in a space Shuttle
Toilet for women astronauts
Women in space was difficult, because they could not use any tubes or cuffs for defecation. So they had a special disposable underwear with a “trunk” to collect urine and faeces.
Disposable underwear for women astronauts / Photo: Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
The bathroom on the ISS
Modern lavatory on the ISS similar to a wardrobe with a small toilet blocks for storage. Main disadvantages: bulkiness, the complexity of maintenance and periodic failures. Therefore, the development of the toilet with all the specifics continues today.
The bathroom on the ISS / Photo: NASA
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