NASA seeks crowdsourced help designing a better moon toilet

NASA seeks crowdsourced help designing a better moon toilet

The desired specifications of the space toilet are outlined on NASA's Lunar Loo guidelines page. According to the space agency, the ideas sent may assist in the development of the toilet for use in the Artemis lunar landers that will take us back to Earth's natural satellite. Space toilets that already exist aren't equipped to handle lunar gravity. There's a reward for the second-best and third-best invention as well as they will win 10,000 and 5,000 dollars respectively.

However, what NASA is looking for this time around is something smaller, more efficient, and functional in microgravity and the gravity that exists on the Moon. The deadline is August 17 and the winners will be announced on September 30. On Thursday, NASA rolled a challenge for the public, seeking concepts for a toilet design that could be used by astronauts on the Moon.

Toilet designs must also conserve water and "help maintain a pristine environment within the lander that is free of odors and other contaminants".

It should accommodate a crew of two astronauts for 14 days and allow the accumulated waste to be moved to storage or disposed of outside the spacecraft. "Although the preferred method for capturing vomit will be emesis bags ('throw up' bags), bonus points will be awarded to designs that can capture vomit without requiring the crew member to put his/her head in the toilet", NASA said in a statement.

NASA seeks crowdsourced help designing a better moon toilet
NASA looks to the public to help design next space toilet

To give you an idea, any of the Apollo astronauts, fully suited up, would have weighed about 500 pounds on Earth if you included their average body weight and that monster of a suit.

The toilet should work on the Moon's gravity, which is about a sixth of the Earth's - so urine and feces will fall, though there will be less of a plop.

Nasa's Artemis-3 mission, which has a launch target of 2024, aims to land a man and a woman at the lunar south pole.

When astronauts return to the moon in 2024, naturally, they're going to need to use the bathroom.which is not an easy feat in low gravity. Lunar surface gravity isn't the almost total absence of gravity you find on the ISS, but it is only a fraction of what holds us down on the home planet because the Moon has so much less mass.


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