NASA’s new $23 million space toilet is ready for launch

NASA’s new house rest room for the Worldwide Area Station undergoes testing on the Johnson Area Heart in Houston, Texas.

(Picture: © NASA)

NASA is launching a brand new house rest room to the Worldwide Area Station subsequent week for astronauts to check out earlier than it’s used on future missions to the moon or Mars. 

The $23 million rest room system, often called the Common Waste Administration System (UWMS), is 65% smaller and 40% lighter than the bathroom presently in use on the house station, and may help bigger crews. The bathroom will launch to the house station aboard a Northrop Grumman Cygnus cargo capsule on Sept. 29, as a part of a routine resupply mission. 

As soon as on the house station, astronauts will take a look at how the brand new rest room performs within the microgravity surroundings on the station. The system will likely be put in adjoining to the present rest room in

Node three of the house station

, NASA Superior Exploration Techniques Logistics Discount mission supervisor Melissa McKinley mentioned throughout a information convention Thursday (Sept. 24).


Worldwide Area Station at 20: A photograph tour

Expedition 63 astronauts Chris Cassidy and Ivan Vagner have began making ready for the house rest room’s supply. The crew will use the orbiting lab’s Canadarm2 robotic arm to seize the Cygnus spacecraft, in line with a press release from the house company. 

“The bathroom was designed for exploration and it builds on earlier spaceflight rest room design,” McKinley mentioned through the press convention. “The large key to the exploration piece of the design is trying to optimize mass quantity and energy utilization, that are all crucial elements of a spacecraft design.”

An annotated view of NASA’s new Common Waste Administration System for the Worldwide Area Station. (Picture credit score: NASA)

The house rest room’s superior design features a urine funnel and seat that’s created to be extra accommodating for feminine crew members. It additionally contains a 3D-printed titanium twin fan separator, which was developed by Collins Aerospace and creates a powerful airflow that, in lieu of gravity, helps to tug the astronauts’ urine and waste into the bathroom. 

The titanium design additionally improves upon the prevailing pretreat system used to gather and deal with astronauts’ urine earlier than it’s processed and recycled for reclaimed water. 

A NASA crew member demonstrates lifting the urine hose out from its cradled place like a crew member would to be used. A funnel (not proven) could be hooked up to the open finish of this hose and be simply changed or eliminated for disinfection. (Picture credit score: NASA)

The UWMS measures roughly 28 inches (71 centimeters) tall, which is corresponding to the compact bogs used on campers, McKinley mentioned through the convention. The bathroom additionally has an automated beginning system, somewhat than an on and off swap like present rest room fashions on the house station. 

The brand new system will likely be used routinely by the crew on the house station and examined over the following three years to verify all the pieces works as deliberate. Previous to launch, the system was examined in environments designed to simulate that of the house station, NASA officers have mentioned.

Comply with Samantha Mathewson @Sam_Ashley13. Comply with us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Fb.  

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