It's Hard to Poop on the Moon So NASA Wants You to Make It Easier

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2020-06-26 13:28:03

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In the next few years, NASA plans to return to the moon. We know which rocket the astronauts will launch atop, what capsule they'll be cramped in, and how they might land on the lunar surface.

Enter the Lunar Loo Challenge. NASA's Tournament Labs and Human Landing System Program has partnered with a Kickstarter-like platform called HeroX to sponsor a competition to design a space toilet that will be used on the moon.

"These astronauts will be eating and drinking, and subsequently urinating and defecating in microgravity and lunar gravity," according to an overview of the challenge. "While astronauts are in the cabin and out of their spacesuits, they will need a toilet that has all the same capabilities as ones here on Earth."

Apollo-era astronauts famously hated their toilet system. The Apollo Fecal Containment Device was essentially just a plastic bag that the crew strapped to their butts. Once they deposited their waste, the bags were either stored on the spacecraft or left on the lunar surface.

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