Even astronauts go to the bathroom. Of course, they do it with all the complications of performing their functions in the absence of gravity. Complications that the reader can easily imagine without the need to make them explicit.
Now, in the context of the Artemis mission, which aims to bring the man (and in this specific case also the first woman) to the Moon, NASA wants to introduce innovative solutions from this point of view. “This is clearly not the main purpose of the mission,” he told the Guardian Mike Interbartolo, member of the team that is working on the development of the lander that will take us back to our satellite, «but we want to avoid situations experienced during the program Apollo». When, according to the transcripts of radio communications, it happened that the contents of the toilet fluctuated inside the spacecraft.
To create toilets that solve the problem, NASA has chosen the path of open innovation. That is, he asked designers and planners to submit their idea. To participate there is time until August 17th and there are $ 35,000 up for grabs. Space toilets should be lighter than 15 kilograms on Earth, smaller than 0.12 cubic meters and no more noisy than the fans that are commonly installed in blind bathrooms. Above all, it must be efficient both in microgravity conditions, that is, during the journey to the Moon, and once landed on our satellite. In short, it must guarantee operation. Besides, astronauts can’t call a plumber.