NASA Needs Designs For A ‘Lunar Loo’ That Astronauts Will Use To Poop In Space
By Thanussha Priyah, 26 Jun 2020
Image via NASA
NASA is planning to return to the moon by 2024. As part of its preparation, the space agency is looking for new ideas on developing space toilets for astronauts to go about their business on throughout the journey to the lunar outpost and back.
The agency teamed up with crowdsourcing platform HeroX to launch the Lunar Loo Challenge on Thursday, asking people to design space toilets for astronauts.
The current space toilets are designed for microgravity only, which refers to the weightlessness in space. The new toilet, though, has to be functional in lunar gravity—around one-sixth of Earth’s gravity—which makes human waste move vastly different on the moon.
There are some specifications to take note of before designing the “lunar loo,” such as having a mass of fewer than 15 kilograms (33 pounds) in Earth’s gravity, using up a volume not bigger than 0.12 meter cubed, taking up less than 70 watts of power, and operating with a noise level below 60 decibels.
It also has to cater to both female and male users of different body shapes and sizes.
The innovation challenge has two categories, technical and junior, and submissions to both tiers have to be entered before 5pm ET (2pm PT) on 17 August 2020. Learn more here.
Just launched: the Lunar Loo Challenges! Be a part of history by designing the toilet astronauts will use during future missions on the moon & Mars. Learn how NASA is #crowdsourcing human waste disposal concepts & how you or your kids can get involved: https://t.co/o15GxUMVM9 pic.twitter.com/wI7Gae2PwY— HeroX (@Iamherox) June 25, 2020
[via CNET, cover image via NASA]
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