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Tide Creates First Laundry Detergent For Space, To Be Used By NASA Astronauts
By Mikelle Leow, 24 Jun 2021
Images via Procter & Gamble and Shutterstock
When you travel, it’s always a good idea to pack light. However, this isn’t an option if you’re going to space.
As water has to be used sparingly out there, astronauts need to bring a different set of clothes per day in order to have fresh threads daily, because washing them just isn’t feasible.
To help improve astronauts’ quality of life while keeping water usage low, Tide has teamed up with NASA to develop the first-ever astronaut laundry detergent, according to a report by Fast Company. The goal is to invent a climate-friendly laundry solution for Earth that requires minimal water.
While astronauts can still carry a new set of clothes per day for short spaceflights, the weight for trips spanning months or years would be too much. This includes the financial burden, as well, considering that the average cost to carry a pound of belongings to space is about US$10,000.
For longer missions, astronauts would recycle their clothes and undergarments every five to seven days, or burn them along with space trash.
‘NASA Tide’ is fully degradable, while requiring less water than the typical laundry products. It will go into trial on the International Space Station from 2022, hand in hand with Tide’s experimental ‘Tide-To-Go’ pens and wipes which remove stains without water.
It’s worth emphasizing that NASA Tide isn’t just for space-dwellers. Rather, Tide’s main objective is to find a sustainable solution to clean up the water-intensive laundry process on Earth.
The initiative is part of Tide’s plan to halve greenhouse gas emissions at its facilities by 2030, as well as find eco-friendly alternatives for the traditional laundry methods.
As for why Tide wants to test the product in space first, Amy Krehbiel, Procter & Gamble’s brand VP for NA Laundry, explains: “Doing it in space is the ultimate torture test.”
Image via Procter & Gamble
[via Fast Company, images via various sources]
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