An astronaut’s life works in a totally different way in space than here on Earth. He must learn how to live without the amenities we all use in our homes, but most importantly, it’s the zero-gravity mode that’s toughest to handle. In that kind of environment, even going to the bathroom might be problematic. In our article we will precisely tackle this topic: toilet room must-haves to make astronauts feel comfortable in space.
How do toilets work in space?
The astronaut’s lifestyle in space is changed a lot from the lifestyle on Earth. The same thing applies when it comes to toilets. What’s important to know its that all spacecraft have unisex toilets. They are not as different as the ones you’d normally see in your home, but they’re not the same either. Usually, space toilets are hi-tech rooms, which have larger bases, come equipped with smaller bowls and their manufacturers provide them with big tubes.
In most cases, space toilets have commodes that are designed to hold our solid wastes and, like restrooms here on Earth. They also don’t lack the good, old-fashioned urinals. Now, space toilets are called unisex because they come with a funnel where both men and women can genital parts can fit and urinate by standing up. If people want it, they can also sit down while using the toilet, although it won’t be as comfortable as back in their homes.
What are the toilet room must-haves for astronauts in space?
Apart from the things we mentioned above, there are several other must-haves for every space toilet out there. One of those is the foot restraint, which prevents people from floating away when sitting and doing his job in the bathroom. They are also equipped with toe bars, where feet can be kept under. Additionally, a bar that looks like something similar to the one used for rollercoaster rides, is there to ensure ultimate protection for the astronauts.
People should also know that astronauts don’t have to bother to clean hard water stains from toilet. As another precautionary measure (they don’t want the waste to float around in zero gravity mode), toilet manufacturers decided to opt for flowing air technology and not basic water for flushing the toilet or even the sink.
If you wonder where do all the wastes dumped by astronauts go to, we have the answer for it as well The solid parts are actually placed in plastic bags that are sealed before being launched into space. Liquid waste, believe it or not, are cleaned and turned into drinking water, with the aid of some special tools and systems. This is how things are done on the International Space Station.
On other spaceships, solid waste is kept in containers and they are disposed of on Earth, while the liquid parts are thrown out in space. Before ending our article on toilet room must-haves to make astronauts feel comfortable, there’s something else we really need to mention. Using the bathroom can become even tougher for them if they are required to go outside the spacecraft on a constant basis (which happens a lot). Because it takes a long time to remove a spacesuit, astronauts have to use adult diapers to prevent unwanted accidents. These diapers are a common thing during take-offs and landings too.