Despite being very competitve in our pricing and our service being out of this world, this is one waste disposal contract we didn’t win.
NASA has revealed that the winning suit design in its “space poop challenge” will likely fly on the first crewed Orion spacecraft fight, meaning the winning poop innovator could see their waste collection system fly to space as soon as 2021.
Nasa’s challenge, now completed, was seeking designs for an in-suit waste management system that could be used in the crew’s launch and entry spacesuits for Exploration Mission 2’s deep space mission between 2021 and 2023.
The “poop suit” will be an improvement on the current system – a spacesuit waste collection garment (sometimes colloquially referred to as a diaper).
The winning design, scheduled to be announced on February 16, will win a prize of $30,000.
The winning garment needs to work for any gender, and has to flush away up to six days of feces, urine and menstrual fluid without the astronaut needing to use his or her hands. The contents need to be moved away via microgravity so that it all floats.