NASA launches a new space toilet to International Space Station Next week, to test astronauts before using it on future missions to the moon or Mars.
The $ 23 million toilet system is known as Comprehensive waste management system (UWMS), is 65% smaller and 40% lighter than the toilet currently in use on the space station, and can support larger crews. The toilet will be launched to the space station On board the Northrop Grumman cargo capsule Cygnus On September 29, as part of a routine resupply mission.
Once at the space station, the astronauts will test how the new toilet would function in the station’s microgravity environment. The system will be installed next to the existing toilet in Node 3 of the space stationMelissa McKinley, NASA’s Advanced Exploration Systems Logistics Project Manager, said during a press conference Thursday (September 24).
Expedition 63 astronauts Chris Cassidy And Ivan Wagner began preparing for the delivery of the space toilet. The crew will use the orbital laboratory Canadarm robotic arm2 To capture the Cygnus spacecraft, to me Permit From the space agency.
“The toilet is designed for exploration and is based on A former spaceflight toilet design“The key to the exploration part of the design is optimizing mass size and energy use, all of which are very important components in spacecraft design,” McKinley said during the press conference.
The advanced design of the space toilet includes a urine funnel and seat that was created to be more accommodating for female crew members. It also features a 3D printed titanium dual fan separator, developed by Collins Aerospace and creates a powerful airflow that helps, instead of gravity, draw astronauts’ urine and waste into the toilet.
The titanium design also enhances the existing pre-treatment system used for assembly and processing Paul the astronauts Pre-treated and recycled treated water.
McKinley said during the conference that the UWMS is about 28 inches (71 cm) high, which is comparable to the compact toilets used in the camp. The toilet also has an automatic start system, instead of an on / off switch like a current Toilet models On the space station.
The new system will be used routinely by the crew on the space station and tested over the next three years to make sure everything works as planned. NASA officials said that prior to the launch, the system had been tested in environments designed to mimic those of the space station.