NASA could make you $30k richer. NASA has pushed a new initiative to help astronauts poop better and they need your help. This new challenge is hilariously named “The Space Poop Challenge.”
With the Space Poop Challenge, NASA would like you to make the job of pooping in space much easier for our nation’s spacemen. But it isn’t as easy as taking a bag to your butt and disposing of waste that way, trust me they’ve already thought of that.
According to HeroX the program that is funding the challenge
“ In the event of cabin depressurization or other contingency, crew members may need to take refuge in their launch and entry suits for a long-duration (144-hour). The crew member will have less than 60 minutes to get into and seal their spacesuit. To ensure the crew member’s safety, the Solution needs to take no more than 5 minutes of that time. The crew member will remain in their suit at a pressure of 4.3 PSID and in 100% oxygen environment, with a few tasks to complete inside the depressurized vehicle prior to vehicle. A system to route and collect human waste away from the body without the use of hands, that operates in the prescribed environment, is being sought to keep astronauts alive and healthy over 144 hours.”
As you expected the job isn’t as easy making someone poop. This new waste system has a few guidelines:
1. The suit must maintain pressurization
2. Take no more than 5 minutes to set up
3. The suit must be able to hold up to 1L per day per crew member for a total of 6 days
4. Menstrual collection must be able to hold 80 mL in 6 days
5. Must be able to operate will the crew member is moving, bending, or strapped into a chair
6. Operate within a full launch and entry at pressure up to 4.3 PSID
Prior to this new system NASA is asking for, Astronauts were required to use adult diapers, in situations like like a launch crew members could be strapped in for 10 hours or more.
But there are many issues with adult diapers other than the obvious. Diapers are a highly unsanitary method of disposing of waste, that can cause irritation and infection.
With everything considered this challenge isn’t impossible to accomplish, it’s a great way to get your creative juices flowing (no pun intended) it’s for a good cause, and it could make you a lot of money, all in time for the new year.
Also NASA states that you do not have to be qualified in the field of microgravity and waste management to be considered. So get out there and make pooping great again! But hurry, submissions close on December 20th.