NASA astronaut reveals how you actually poop in space
When you're a child dreaming of what it would be like to be an astronaut, there are a multitude of questions that run through your head: What is it really like to float in space? Are there aliens out there? And, of course, how would I be able to do a poo if I, myself, am literally a floater?
Well, thankfully, we now have an answer.
Growing up as a young boy addicted to Sunny D and ice cream, I had one dream: to be an astronaut. Quite why I wanted to spend my days floating around the deep dark vortex that is space, I'm not too sure. But I did. I used to spend days reading about what (potentially) existed up there and even now, the idea of space boggles my mind.
I remember watching a Simpsons episode where Homer becomes an astronaut and smuggles potato chips into the rocket heading to space. Watching Homer float around the shuttle eating those chips, I thought to myself: that, that right there, is the dream.
However, it turns out I was rubbish at science and my dream of becoming an astronaut now lies on the trash with my football career, my singing career and my multiple inventions (slide in my DM's if you want more info/prices.)
But, if you're wondering how you go for a dump in space, I have the answer for you. Spending a few months on the International Space Station is something only a fraction of people will experience. However, while it may be a dream for most, the way that you have to deposit your poop sounds more like a nightmare.
During an interview with Business Insider, NASA's Peggy Whitson offered up a few unpleasant details about what goes on onboard the ISS and it's pretty gross.
You don't see the inside of the international space station much and there is one clear reason why: flying turds. That's right, Astronauts simply poop whenever they want and it floats around the space station.
I'm joking... kind of.
No, there is a toilet on the Space Station and it looks less than comfortable. The lavatory on the ISS resembles something like a beer barrel.
"Urinating’s relatively easy," Whitson explained. "Number two is more challenging because you’re trying to hit a pretty small target."
While the toilet may look pretty basic, it's actually very high-tech. A metallic base unite provides suction for the stools that you are passing and they are then tightly sealed and tossed out into space during orbit.
However, the zero-gravity environment makes poop placement a lot more difficult than on the ground. "After it starts getting full you have to put a rubber glove on and pack it down," Whitson noted. On top of this, if the process isn’t handled with care, it can result in floating floaters drifting around the room and needing to be collected. Just like Homer and his chips!
So there you have it, while astronauts may appear that they are on the forefront of huge scientific breakthrough, just remember that they are floating around space with a load of turds.