Toilet Broken on I.S.S.

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Darkfinn

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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. :laugh:
 

kite

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makes you wonder if it's easier using a diaper in zero gravity.
 

Darkfinn

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

BabyKat

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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. :p

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!"
 

Darkfinn

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

Peachy

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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
 

Pojo

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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
 

Martin

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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.
 

Darkfinn

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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.
 

paddedhawk

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

"Requesting permission to relieve myself in my suit":laugh:
 

Peachy

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So that's gotta be something like 4 hours in the suit. This isn't counting any possible delays there might be.
I reckon it's the same as Chinese airlines or Chinese train passengers: They're urged to dispose of any bodily waste before entering their plane/train. Except in the case of NASA, I'm sure they do more than just urge the pilots (think enema?). Because I doubt anyone wants one of their fellow astronauts to stink up the space craft...can't exactly open a window in that thing to let the smell out!

"Houston, we have a problem! John crapped himself!"
"Abort mission, abort mission!" :D


Peachy
 

LuvsGurl

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OK Guys Update on the ISS

DF and I hav the local Channel for UNC Charlotte, well there are about 8 of them but one is 24/7 of the ISS and all other space flights, and I am telling you, the Bottom Bulge that was on there this morning as they are "detoxing" tells the whole story. It seems they have to have them anyway for another part of re-entry they have to be in a tank that Oxigen not air for about 8-10 hours between "Hygiene" break (my guess to change the diaper). They are going that right now, and they turned off the camera for that.

Though here is my question, forget about the blatter in space, think about what it would do to your blatter to live in 0G for a few months like these guys then to come back.... Talk about having to go allll the time..
 
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BabyKat

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Though here is my question, forget about the blatter in space, think about what it would do to your blatter to live in 0G for a few months like these guys then to come back.... Talk about having to go allll the time..
Wow....Ouch! XD. Suddenly there's gravity again, lol.
 

Darkfinn

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It was pretty interesting watching that this morning. I had totally forgotten about the "space channel" until we were flipping trying to find the morning news. I wish I had my camera around... but there were definately some padded rear-ends under those space uniforms.

Apparently they have to sit in the "detox chamber" for at least 8 hours before they can get back on the shuttle to come home... and that isn't the room with the toilet in it.

Diapers to the rescue!! LOL
 

kite

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so does anyone have a lead on what diapers they use?
 

Darkfinn

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NASA issues something called the M.A.G. or Maximum Absorbancy Garment. There isn't really all that much information about them. It seems NASA bought out the entire company that used to manufacture them, filled an entire warehouse with the diapers, then closed the company down. They say the stockpile is large enough that they won't run out any time soon. Though if the potty on the space station keeps crapping out (LOL) who knows.

I imagine the MAGs are something along the lines of a Dry 24/7 or Abri X-plus. They've gotta be high quality and must perform superbly well as they are used in a very demanding environment.
 

kite

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i think i my fiancee (the body of resources that is known only by tabbycat...) knows someone in NASA. hmm, now to only convince her to talk to her friend...
 

DannyTheNinja

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This was on Slashdot a few days ago. I'd imagine that they have a small number of diapers on hand for emergencies, but a backup system (at least for liquid) is probably available. Besides they had them repaired within 12 hours.

--Danny :ninja:
 

kite

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12 hours is significant if you keep regularly hydrated like i think they do unless the lack of gravity slows the excrement process.
 
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