This comment claims

As I recall, at least one of the Apollo crews spent much of the transit time au naturel due to the hassles of waste management.

Is this true to any extent?

(As @OrganicMarble wisely responded to the original post, "citation needed".)

Related: Did astronauts on the moon poop in front of each other?


1 Answer 1


I don't believe this is actually the case. I've found no evidence to support it.

I suspect it's a misremembering of the reports that Apollo astronauts did undress entirely to avoid soiling their clothes while using the fecal collection bags, and that the process could take an hour start to finish. Given that they tried to defecate as little as possible (averaging something like one "event" per astronaut per 3 days), it seems unlikely they would remain naked during the periods between, out of consideration for their crewmates if nothing else.

  • $\begingroup$ Jeez, 1 event every 3 days? What were they eating? Nothing but cheese and steak? $\endgroup$ Jun 25, 2019 at 20:51
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    $\begingroup$ They ate "low-residue" food such as steak and eggs in the days leading up to the flight, took lomotil to slow things down, and really, really, really didn't want to go more often than necessary. $\endgroup$ Jun 25, 2019 at 20:57
  • $\begingroup$ Impressive that so much fore-sight was put into that... however, I kind of do that when planning a road-trip, so I suppose human functions would be foremost on your mind when planning. $\endgroup$ Jun 25, 2019 at 21:03
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    $\begingroup$ Well, Apollo didn't come out of nowhere. The steak and eggs diet was useful to jet pilots doing long flights in single-seaters well prior to project Mercury; the collection devices were used on the Gemini flights which progressively increased mission length from 5 hours to two weeks. $\endgroup$ Jun 25, 2019 at 21:10
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    $\begingroup$ It's crazy (but at the same time not at all crazy) that the things that make normal people "movement" less by accident here on Earth could be used scientifically to prevent problems in Space. Seems some people truly thought of their bodies as tools sometimes (even in storage capacity) hehe. Neat what a change in perspective can teach you. $\endgroup$ Jun 25, 2019 at 22:44

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