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Dec 11, 2009

How astronauts go to toilet in space?

The Shower
Smart astronauts take long thorough baths before taking off because there is no shower in the space shuttle! So astronauts have to wash themselves with wet washcloths, using soaps that do not need to be rinsed and they bring plenty of towels to dry themselves with. For privacy, they extend the curtain of the WCS (Waste Collection System), the toilet or bathroom.

Brushing Teeth
Expectorating or spitting in a near weightless environment is never a good idea and so dental consultants of NASA developed a foamless toothpaste that can be swallowed. It is called NASAdent and they are now available in the market. Astronauts who can not bring themselves to swallow the toothpaste, or who have brought their own favorite brands sometimes spit into a washcloth.

Toilet Use
Since there is no gravity to either hold a toilet bowl full of water in place or pull human wastes down, NASA had to develop a way to use air flow to make the urine or feces go where they wanted to. The toilet which can be used by either men or women is designed to be as similar as those on Earth except for some changes. Straps are in place to hold feet against the floor and over the thighs to make sure that the astronauts don't float away. seated. Since the system operates on a vacuum, the seat is designed so the astronaut's bottom can be perfectly flush to make a good seal.

Besides the main toilet bowl, there is a hose, which is utilized as a urinal by men and women. It can be used in a standing position or can be attached to the commode by a pivoting mounting bracket for use in a sitting position.

The human waste is separated and solid wastes are compressed and stored on-board, and then removed after landing. Waste water is vented to space, although future systems may recycle it. The air is filtered to remove odor and bacteria and then returned to the cabin.


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