199 votes
Accepted

Nudism in space: Why wear clothes anyway?

Clothes require laundry because they have accumulated dirt and other materials from the environment and their wearer. If the astronaut was not wearing those clothes then that material they captured ...
Brian Tompsett - 汤莱恩's user avatar
87 votes

Nudism in space: Why wear clothes anyway?

Clothing performs essential duties on the station in addition to modesty. They are an easy way to organize stuff. In addition to pockets, clothing is festooned with velcro strips for attaching tools, ...
Hobbes's user avatar
  • 128k
68 votes
Accepted

Why vent $CO_2$ and $H_2$ waste products to space on ISS?

Added complexity is never welcome in a situation where lives are on the line and help isn't a phone call away. There have been a number of ammonia-related events and those are in systems that should ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
67 votes
Accepted

Was there a backup plan in case the Shuttle toilet malfunctioned?

First let's review the nominal operation of the Shuttle Waste Collection System (WCS). (from Shuttle Crew Operations Manual (SCOM) page 2.25-2) It was divided into two major systems, one for urine ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
60 votes
Accepted

Was there really a shuttle toilet training device with a "boresight camera"?

Yes, this was the Waste Collection System (WCS) Positional Trainer, located in Building 5 at Johnson Space Center, adjacent to but not part of the Shuttle Mission Simulator Fixed and Motion Bases. ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
57 votes
Accepted

If an astronaut needs to go to the toilet during launch, what can they do and what do they need to do?

They use three high-tech procedures: They schedule and ration their fluid and food intake. They go to the bathroom before the trip. They wear diapers, sorry, I meant Maximum Absorbency Garment. In ...
Jörg W Mittag's user avatar
39 votes
Accepted

What were the "pills" that were added to solid waste in Apollo 7?

In order to prevent bacteria in the solid waste from producing gas, which could rupture the storage bags, a germicide was added to the bag after use and "kneaded in" to mix it with the waste once the ...
Russell Borogove's user avatar
38 votes
Accepted

Did Apollo leave poop on the moon?

If any of the 12 had a bowel movement and then obeyed procedures, then yes there is poop on the moon My 30+ hour search of Apollo documentation did not reveal a direct answer either way. Perhaps the ...
DrSheldon's user avatar
  • 47.9k
34 votes

Did Apollo leave poop on the moon?

I believe used fecal bags from the LM were normally supposed to be transferred back to the CSM and returned with the crew to Earth for analysis. In the Apollo 15 flight journal, in the annotation ...
Russell Borogove's user avatar
29 votes

If an astronaut needs to go to the toilet during launch, what can they do and what do they need to do?

One of the main traditions and rituals of Soviet cosmonautics- all crew must urinate on the right rear wheel of their bus: https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20140610-the-strange-rituals-of-cosmonauts ...
A. Rumlin's user avatar
  • 7,873
26 votes

Nudism in space: Why wear clothes anyway?

In addition to capture of contaminants, such as dead skin, hair, sweat, etc, and abrasion/cut protection, clothing forms a basic thermal layer that allows the human body to better regulate its ...
Adam Davis's user avatar
  • 1,103
23 votes
Accepted

What does trash from ISS consist of?

What kinds of waste does the ISS dispose of? To mind come: human waste Excrement is not recycled. The ISS does not have a composting station. Urine is mostly recycled. However, the concentrated ...
David Hammen's user avatar
  • 74.8k
21 votes
Accepted

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

The question is, in the CSM, was there any space to use it privately? I suppose while coasting towards the Moon they could use the LM, but on the return trip? The lower equipment bay of the CM was a ...
Russell Borogove's user avatar
20 votes

What does trash from ISS consist of?

David Hammen's answer gives a great overview of common ISS trash categories. One category that is large by volume that was omitted is packing material. Supplies and equipment launched to the ISS are ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
18 votes

Nudism in space: Why wear clothes anyway?

A picture might be worth a thousand words. Just imagine this situation without clothes:
Eric Duminil's user avatar
  • 1,678
18 votes

Did Apollo leave poop on the moon?

tl;dr: The only source found so far is an article that claims that Charlie Duke claims to have left urine on the Moon. No definitive report about fecal matter on the Moon, though. In total, it's ...
DarkDust's user avatar
  • 12.5k
16 votes

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

They did poop, and with some privacy (see below). The other answers are correct about the low-residue diet and Lomotil, but that still didn't stop them from having bowel movements. Table 2 of this ...
DrSheldon's user avatar
  • 47.9k
9 votes

Did Apollo leave poop on the moon?

Contemporaneous evidence that defecation occurred on the Moon appears in the Apollo 17 Technical Crew Debriefing (Jan. 4, 1973 -- https://history.nasa.gov/alsj/a17/a17tecdbrf.html). Schmitt goes into ...
Larry Gilman's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

What is in ISS's waste product "brine", and how is it disposed?

"Brine" is what is left after the ISS Urine Processor Assembly processes the urine that is input into it, sending product water to the Water Processor Assembly which makes it potable. (See the ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
7 votes

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

According to https://space.stackexchange.com/a/31987/18085, Armstrong and Aldrin, before landing on the moon, took a pill to inhibit bowel movements. That doesn't say they never had to defecate, but ...
Wayne Conrad's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

Are there any photographs of the frozen waste water after a urine dump in space?

Massimino is talking about a waste water dump. Here is a video of one such dump. This video was taken on STS-125; Massimino was a crewmember on that flight. Lighting was critical to get an ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
5 votes

Pressurized Organic Oxygen Pods

The stoichiometrics of respiration say that the CO2 exhaled by one person, plus their poop, can be converted by algae into 3000 calories of nutrition and 26 moles of oxygen (enough for a day) using ...
Woody's user avatar
  • 21.6k
4 votes

Was there really a shuttle toilet training device with a "boresight camera"?

Yes. See the book Packing for Mars by Mary Roach for a detailed and entertaining account. The book is a journalistic journey through the field of human factors in spaceflight.
Alan Barksdale's user avatar
4 votes

What happens to the ISS waste?

Urine is captured and on the Russian side of the house electrolyzed to make oxygen and the hydrogen vented. Most other waste is packed into one of the departing capsules (Progress), HTV (Just retired, ...
geoffc's user avatar
  • 79.6k
4 votes
Accepted

Current and near-future space suit odor reduction technology

Regarding current US technology: The regenerable Metal Oxide (METOX) cartridge used in the life support systems of current International Space Station Extravehicular Activity suits contains activated ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
4 votes

What happens to the ISS waste?

Urine is processed into water on both the US and Russian sides of the ISS. Poop is bagged up and thrown away like other trash, which gets packed into logistic vehicles and burned up on entry.
Organic Marble's user avatar
4 votes

Pee processing in space

At least on the US side of the ISS, there is one processor for all, the Urine Processor Assembly. Source: https://space.stackexchange.com/a/26629/6944 (see link for acronymology)
Organic Marble's user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

Did any Apollo astronaut remain disrobed to simplify his waste disposal?

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 ...
Russell Borogove's user avatar
3 votes

What caused John Glenn to see what he described as "fireflies"?

Googling the subject produces results which all seem to quote each other: the fireflies were produced by condensation on the outer walls of the spacecraft. When Carpenter knocked on the wall, he ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
3 votes

How does methane waste produced by the ISS interact with our Atmosphere?

Assuming the methane stays in orbit around the Earth as indicated by uhoh, it will then not do much else. Wikipedia has a fairly extensive article about methane in the atmosphere, and it mentions ...
Oscar Lanzi's user avatar
  • 8,505

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible