Astronauts will soon take a shit in a bathroom that costs $ 23 million. Science, baby.
On Tuesday, NASA will launch nearly 8,000 pounds of supplies from its Wallops flight facility in Virginia to the International Space Station … and the cargo will include the Universal Waste Management System.
The toilet – about 28 inches tall – will be 65% smaller and 40% lighter than the current John on the ISS, but will have the ability to support larger crews. It will be installed near the current bathroom and the astronauts will test the performance of the new toilet in a microgravity environment.
Some of the toilet features: a urine funnel and seat made to be more accommodating for female crew members. It will also be equipped with a 3D printed titanium dual fan separator … which creates a strong airflow that will help bring astronauts’ urine and waste into the toilet.
Remember, no gravity up there so they will take all the help they can get.
The new toilet also improves the pre-treatment system used to collect and treat urine before it is processed and recycled for waste water. If the new toilet is a success … one day it could be used on missions to the moon and even Mars.
The resupply mission will also include Estée Lauder’s food, science experiments, and even skin care products.