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Thread: Toilet Broken on I.S.S.

  1. #1
    Darkfinn

    Default Toilet Broken on I.S.S.

    Just heard another snippet about this one the news. Apparently the toilet on the International Space Station has been broken for the past week. Thankfully they do keep a stock of diapers on board for spacewalks and etc. so I hope the astronauts have enjoyed putting them to use.

    The space shuttle is scheduled to dock early this week with parts to fix it. I hope they brought some extra trash bags too... b/c a weeks worth of dirty diapers needs to be brought back to earth for disposal. I wonder which Roto Rooter plumber got to be the Mission Specialist on this trip?

    I know NASA will never admit it... but now we see what happens when someone goes on a binge and eats 5 packets of that dehydrated space icecream. Anyone going to own up to that one? The vote may be to keep said astronaut in diapers for the remainder of the stay... rather than risk another billion dollar trip just to unplug the potty.

  2. #2

  3. #3
    Darkfinn

    Default

    I would absolutely love to ask an astronaut that question. What exactly happens when you wet a diaper in zero gee?

  4. #4

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by Darkfinn View Post
    I would absolutely love to ask an astronaut that question. What exactly happens when you wet a diaper in zero gee?
    lol. It could probably float out the top and sides, leak, and cause a real mess. Hopefully they have good leak guards.

    If it did leak though, could you imagine the cleaup?

    "Houston, we have a problem"
    "What is it this time?"
    "It's on the ceiling!"

  5. #5
    Darkfinn

    Default

    I imagine good leak guards and a snug fit are requirements.

  6. #6
    Peachy

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by Darkfinn View Post
    I would absolutely love to ask an astronaut that question. What exactly happens when you wet a diaper in zero gee?
    Since your diaper contracts when you're peeing, your pee is being pushed out your penis. It'll just shoot into the absorbent material of the diaper the same way it does here (minus the bit of extra speed that comes from the gravity if you're pointed down and pee standing/sitting up). After that, the reaction in space depends on how much of the wetness rebounces off the absorbent material / inner lining of the diaper. The absorbent material itself is actually made to work against gravity - it moves your pee from the bottom of the diaper, where gravity cause it to collect, up the rear of your diaper. So the absorbent material should work too.

    The rebouncing effect is the only reason why toilets must be designed differently in space.

    Peachy

  7. #7

    Default

    I always thought the diapers were only used in liftoff...Since there is so much force and change or gravity, that you would lose control or something

  8. #8

    Default

    Liftoff means hours upon hours of being unable to go to a bathroom and those suits are many thousands of dollars a peace so... same goes for spacewalks.

  9. #9
    Darkfinn

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by Pojo View Post
    I always thought the diapers were only used in liftoff...Since there is so much force and change or gravity, that you would lose control or something
    This is partially true. The pressure suits the astronauts wear on liftoff weigh 75 pounds a piece... and are put on hours before the shuttle actually leaves the ground. While I'm sure that the 5+ gees felt on takeoff could cause some problems... pilots are trained to clench every muscle in their body when under pressure so they don't black out.

    Also... you have to figure the astronauts are in the shuttle for at least an hour going through checklists prior to launch. The launch procedure itself takes another hour... and there is a whole checklist of things once they get in orbit before anyone can actually get out of their seat, take the suit off (you can't just unzip the fly and pull it down), and make a mad dash for the space potty. So that's gotta be something like 4 hours in the suit. This isn't counting any possible delays there might be.

    The same thing also has to be reversed for landing... suit up... check lists... de-orbit burn... reentry... then landing. Probably takes 4-5 hours to do.

    The space suits for spacewalks don't have any kind of waste collection system in them that I have ever heard of... and those missions can last for hours. I don't think NASA would want Commander Spaceman rushing repairs to a billion dollar sattelite because he/she needs to take a major leak.

  10. #10

    Default

    C'mon. who's seen "The Right Stuff"

    "Requesting permission to relieve myself in my suit"

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