NASA Starts Space Poop Challenge To Solve Spacesuit Potty Problems

Posted: Nov 18 2016, 9:04am CST | by , Updated: Nov 18 2016, 10:44pm CST , in Latest Science News


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NASA Starts Space Poop Challenge to Solve Spacesuit Potty Problems
Competition to source a system that routes and collects human waste away from the body, hands-free, for fully suited astronauts. Credit: NASA
  • NASA starts the ‘Space Poop Challenge’ to help dump in space

The aim of the program is to come up with a solution for fecal, urine and menstrual management in space.

Taking a dump in a spacesuit can be very difficult is an understatement of the century. Sometimes the call of nature can be very urgent and may pose some serious trouble for astronauts. So in a bid to make the astronauts life easier NASA has started the "Space Poop Challenge."

As part of the challenge NASA is asking innovators from all sectors of life to come together and create a solution. So astronauts can easily handle fecal, urine and menstrual management systems.

The system should be workable for more than six days. Currently NASA astronauts have to wear diapers to take care of their bodily needs during launch, landing or spacewalking.

But the negative side is these diapers are only good to go for just a few hours. And even in these few hours the astronauts have to sit in their own poop, urine or menstrual blood. Least to say this can be very bad for their health and subsequently their backside.

According to NASA future missions will require a system for long-duration waste management. The challenge may seem cheeky on first look but is extremely crucial for the well-being of astronauts on space missions in pressurized suits.

NASA explains if any mishap happens in space then the crew members may have to take refuge in their suits for very long durations; even up to 144 hours.

The real challenge is to make the poop system work in microgravity, or more specifically in a pressurized spacesuit, according to

Aspiring designers of the challenge would need to take care of the floating water and debris which comes from excretion. The winner’s system will be designed for the new NASA's Modified Advanced Crew Escape Suit.

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