As if life in space isn’t hard enough, using the bathroom in a weightless environment is no walk in the park. Due to the lack of gravity, astronauts obviously can’t use water, which makes the tasks we take for granted here on earth that much more daunting.
In the beginning, astronauts typically wore diapers, as their time in space was only a short one. But as space travel advanced, there was an obvious need for an improvement with astronauts quickly became more and more disgruntled.
Luckily, some very smart scientists (Howard Wolowitz, anyone?) came up with the perfect solution involving a vacuum to make sure anything that goes into the toilet doesn’t come back out again. The new-fangled space toilet works differently depending on whether you’re making a number one or a number two.
For example, the waste is sucked away in a hose after urination. However, the toilet is used much the same way as a regular toilet when defecating, requiring the astronaut to pull a lever to have the waste sucked away by the vacuum.
This is a drastic improvement on how the process worked previously, resulting in happier astronauts who no longer need to don diapers or defecate in a bag, except during take-off and re-entry. During these times, the astronauts wear pressurized suits which still require the astronaut to use a diaper.
The entire process of defecation is a bit different when using toilets in space, and pushing alone often doesn’t get the job done. Even with a considerable amount of toilet training, astronauts still may need to chase their floating waste around the ship in order to collect it. But it’s clear to see that although space shuttle toilets are still tricky to use, they are a considerably better alternative than wearing a diaper 24/7.
Thankfully, the plumbing issues we face on earth are slightly less complicated, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t rely on an expert if you’re experiencing a problem. Contact Action Plumbing today for out-of-this-world plumbing services.