ISS Amusingly Confirms That Astronauts Have Been Pooping A Lot In Space Toilet
By Alexa Heah, 13 May 2021
Image via NASA
The counter on one of the International Space Station’s three toilets has hit the 40,000 mark – and it took 20 years to get there.
Thomas Pesquet, a crew member currently aboard the ISS, tweeted about the milestone flush earlier this week. “40,000 times this space toilet has been used, a milestone!” he said.
Due to the lack of gravity aboard the ISS, going to the bathroom is an inherently different experience from what we experience here on Earth. And to be fair, the toilets in space are a lot smaller than what we’re used to.
According to Digital Trends, instead of the usual flush system, the ISS toilets use a suction mechanism to capture liquid waste before it can float away. Urine is later filtered and processed into drinking water for the crew, too.
In the case of solid waste, it is deposited into a plastic bag that’s sealed and placed into a container at the base of the toilet. The container is emptied after approximately 30 deposits, and will burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere when dispelled as part of the ISS’ trash.
To see exactly how astronauts go to the bathroom aboard the ISS, watch the video demonstration below.
40 000 times this space toilet has been used, a milestone! We need to maintain it as clean sanitation and sewage treatment is a human right and a @UN Sustainable Development Goal. #MissionAlpha #SDG6 pic.twitter.com/ekQYXB3CTc— Thomas Pesquet (@Thom_astro) May 12, 2021
[via Digital Trends, cover image via NASA]
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