Ever wondered how it would be if clothes could take care of all your needs to rush to a toilet? Yeah, they are being developed by NASA. Well, not actually clothes but spacesuits which have built-in human waste disposal system so that humans can explore deep space without being bothered by the urges to get waste out of our systems, you know. So basically a spacesuit with a built-in toilet. How cool is that!
NASA is already working on developing the Orion spacecraft which will help humans to carry them to deep space destinations. These futuristic spaceships will take us to unwelcoming celestial places, but it will be humans who might need to explore certain aspects. So the Orion Crew Survival Systems Suits (OCSSS) will have an inbuilt toilet which will allow the astronauts to get rid of nature’s call. The suit is being developed in such a way that it will allow astronauts to survive wearing just that, for 6 days straight – in case of emergency in the outer space. So for 6 days, one would need enough oxygen, hydration, some food provisions and hence, there will be a ton of nature’s calls undoubtedly.
So how will the spacesuit handle the crucially urgent business? Well actually, for designing the system, NASA had opened a “Space Poop Challenge” in 2016 but most ideas were not integrated with the spacesuit. So the suits will include a faecal bag that is very similar to those used in the Apollo suits, and, for men, they will also use condom catheters, which remain the simplest, most straightforward approach. However, the female spacesuits have not been developed completely yet and some points are quite proprietary. But, the general design for the Orion spacesuits will be similar to the tube system which the female pilots already use on long flights to relieve themselves.
However, NASA will need to develop a very efficient system for spacesuits with built-in toilets because six days is a long time and you live in a spacesuit with all your waste right by you – that could get pretty gnarly right. There will be new features like glove warmers, improved helmet cameras and lights added, they have suffered an increasing number of problems, such as water leaking inside the helmets. So yes, future astronauts, keep that in mind.