If you are wondering where astronauts’ bodily fluids go, NASA is working to resolve pooping issues in space.
As the question has been a running gag for humanity for years and, apparently, even the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is looking for new and better ways to answer this question.
In fact, the world’s leading space agency is offering $30,000 (P1,492,034) for anyone who can figure out a better way to address astronauts pooping issues in space.
At present, astronauts are using a funnel device connected at the International Space Station when they urinate, while they opt for a vacuum when they do number two, according to an official NASA statement.
However, the long travel time between missions—especially with the upcoming trip to Mars project—would make it impossible for astronauts to use the traditional way of waste management or pooping issues.
Another challenge was the subjects wear pressurized suits, which don’t even allow them to scratch their noses, let alone be able to properly wipe themselves.
Because of these circumstances, NASA is now looking for hands-free solutions to aid their astronauts, since adult diapers just doesn’t seem to get the job done anymore. “The diaper is only a very temporary solution, and doesn’t provide a healthy and protective option longer than one day,” NASA’s description of the competition said.
Allegedly, in addition to storage problems, gravity issues could also make fluids blob up and stick to surfaces, while solids could float in the air. “You don’t want any of these solids and fluids stuck to your body for six days,” Nasa added, citing diaper rash as a major problem.
As such, according to reports, NASA has come up with a “Space Poop Challenge” which is open to participants of all ages who can come up with ingenious ways to deal with urine, fecal matter and menstrual blood efficiently (pooping issues ).
Anyone interested to participate have until Dec. 20 to submit their ideas on this website, for a system that needs work hands free for six days.
NASA will reportedly test the winning ideas within a year and hopefully implement them by 2020.