Ever wondered how astronauts would answer the call of nature? Considering that they are out in the space, wearing a spacesuit with no toilet, and a crew of other astronauts around, it probably adds to the discomfort. Well, not for long anymore. Now, NASA has recently launched a contest particularly made for inventors who would be able to put an end to the uncomfortable concern.
What's Does It Take To Be The Next Poop Genius?
According to reports by Phys Org, it was revealed that the said competition aims to find the right spacesuit for this never ending concern of discomfort. It was found that NASA promises to award $30,000 for the best "space poop" solutions. Aspiring inventors have been given until December 20 to submit designs for a personalized waste-wicking system that will handle everything, hands-free, for a period of up to six days.
As of the present time, the contest's description details which can be found at Herox have revealed that the old standby solution consisted of diapers. However, a NASA spokesperson claimed that the diaper can only be used as a very temporary solution, and doesn't provide a healthy and protective option longer than one day.
The Current Situation Of Astronauts
Furthermore, Yahoo News has also revealed that there would be times wherein some astronauts would have to wait for an even longer time. Such as what happened to the two men and one woman who packed themselves into a Russian Soyuz space capsule last week. The said spacecraft is reportedly equipped with a portable toilet, which looks like an air-powered pee jug.
On the other hand, NASA explains that while wearing a very sealed spacesuit, it is nearly impossible for an astronaut to have an access to their own body, even to scratch their nose. It is in line with this where the inventors come in. Astronauts need some way to clear away urine, fecal matter and menstrual blood efficiently, or they risk infection.
Ultimately, NASA's goal is to test them within a year and fully implement them within three years. Moreover, NASA reveals that the first human missions to Mars could take place by the 2030s, and by this time if the right spacesuit has been successfully implemented, experts hope that it could put an end to this growing concern.