Coolest Bathrooms #1- NASA Space Toilet
Hello everyone, the moment you’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived; #1 on our Coolest Bathrooms list are the NASA space toilets! I came across this when I was at the California Science Centre to see the recently acquired and retired Endeavor Space Shuttle.
Once California had won the bid to be the home of the shuttle, the Endeavour was flown around the city on top of an airplane, then pulled and paraded along to the city roads (many tree branches had to be cut), all the way to the museum.
At the museum, before you could view the shuttle, there were several exhibits on display that you could check out. My favourite one of course, was the Space Toilet!
I’d have to say my level of respect for astronauts definitely increased ten fold when I came across this toilet. Something that is so humanly basic becomes a much more cumbersome feat when there is no gravity to keep anything down. Takes a little glamour out of being an astronaut haha.
After a little more research, space bathrooms weren't really thought about in detail until space agencies came across problems. Early astronauts had little baggies in their suits, but if the bags leaked you could do some serious damage to the internal wiring and electronics within the suit. By expelling waste directly into space, this creates dangerous little frozen urine ice particles that when travelling at such high speeds can cause damage to solar panels among other things.
Now, this amazing toilet uses differential air pressure to vacuum the waste into itself. It also recycles urine through a complex filtration process to the point that it can be used as drinking water, while fecal matter is compacted with other garbage into capsules that are sent into the atmosphere to disintegrate.
Coming back to why this made the top spot in our Coolest Bathrooms list, well firstly... it's in Space!! Ok, seriously though, the requirements were cleanliness, value to community/customer service, uniqueness, and design.
As mentioned, cleanliness has to be a top priority in space in order to keep your astronauts healthy. The fact that urine can be recycled into drinking water is definitely saying something about cleanliness. I feel that this project also contributes to society because of the discoveries that are being made in space. Customer service wise I guess there's nothing really direct however the one I saw at the California Science Centre definitely benefits the community in the education it provides. It makes you reflect on the importance of paying attention to details as well as thinking outside of the box. I definitely appreciated my own basic amenities at home a little more after this visit.
On the basis of uniqueness it wins just on the sole fact that who would have thought about the most seemingly insignificant detail when you go to space? Going to the bathroom! So props to whoever thought of it. Design-wise aesthetically it’s not the prettiest but it definitely looks like it belongs in space. Design-wise for function it is a pretty amazing feat of engineering to turn urine into drinking water isn't it?
Anyway, thanks for your patience in following us throughout the weeks to find out who was number one. Here’s where I found most of my information and I highly recommend checking it out because it was so interesting: http://www.space.com/22597-space-poop-astronaut-toilet-explained.html and please let us know if you agreed with our list or not!
Congratulations Space toilet for being out of this world #1!