Pissing away money
It seems NASA has finally realised that women exist, and is providing them with a more suitable toilet to use in space.
The agency is testing a newly-designed, $23 million (£17m) toilet at the International Space Station before eventually flying it to the moon. Weighing just 45kg and standing at 28 inches tall, it’s approximately half the size of the current design.
According to The Guardian, the toilet will better accommodate women because of its tilted seat and taller height. The funnels have also been redesigned so women can do a pee and take a shit at the same time – until now, they’ve had to choose one or the other.
Melissa McKinley, the project manager at Johnson Space Centre, said the toilet’s new shape should help all astronauts position themselves better to poop. “Cleaning up a mess is a big deal,” she explained. “We don’t want any misses or escapes.” She’s referring to the fact that, without gravity, a missed shit would just float.
Like other space toilets, the new one will use air suction – as opposed to water and gravity – to remove the waste. Pee collected by the new toilet will be routed into NASA’s recycling system to produce water for drinking and cooking.
The toilet is the first one ordered by NASA since the early 90s, and has been designed by Collins Aerospace. It’s reportedly more “camper-size” to fit into the NASA Orion capsules that will carry astronauts to the moon in a few years.
Now Elon Musk’s SpaceX is sending astronauts to the space station – marking NASA’s first journey with a private company – and Boeing is less than a year from sending up its first crew, more toilets are needed in space. The development might also help those of us on Earth, who are hoping to escape into the galaxy before an asteroid strikes on US election day.