International Space Station Toilet Tour
May 14, 2015 12:46 PM   Subscribe

 
I'll be sure to forward this to Heywood Floyd.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 12:55 PM on May 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


AAAH she's touching all the stuff with her hands, why is she touching all the stuff with her hands. do people not open the toilet door while holding a paper towel in space?
posted by poffin boffin at 12:55 PM on May 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Is Samantha Cristoforetti the Most Awesome Astronaut Ever?

Sorry, no, that would be Pete Conrad*, though Ms. Cristoforetti is certainly near the top of the list. She's pretty awesome.

I have to say, the ability to post to social media from space may well be the best thing to happen to the space program since the Moon landings. No matter how mundane the tweets are, the fact that astronauts in Douglass Adams or Red Sox t-shirts are posting photos and science and jokes while they orbit the Earth is a pretty special thing.

I may be alone in this thinking, but I kind of feel like the question of "how do you go to the bathroom in space" has been answered way too many times already. This is certainly not the first time I've seen someone demonstrate how the space toilet works. What I really would love to know is how the astronauts, particularly the man, deal with masturbation. Is there some official NASA solution that they train them on or do the other astronauts just explain the technique to the rookies over lunch before launch day? Do they just use the space urine collector in the totally, non-erotic bathroom or do they keep some plastic bags in their sleep station and watch porn on their iPads? I know it's not something NASA or any active astronaut would explain but I'd love it if a former astronaut were to finally, once and for all, say "Ok, this is how we wanked in space..."**

If you ignore his politics, I mean.

**I'm not really interested in hearing about your cousin's friend's friend who was a janitor at NASA and totally knows all about the secret space sex experiments.

posted by bondcliff at 1:06 PM on May 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


Previous post about Cristoforetti's background. She's pretty awesome.

My dream Mars mission includes her, Chris Hadfield, Sunita Williams, Don Pettit and myself, of course.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:11 PM on May 14, 2015 [7 favorites]


I bet those astronauts have poo in their beards.
posted by grumpybear69 at 1:15 PM on May 14, 2015


TMI on the UPA.

A few years ago there was a men's bathroom at NASA Ames that had signs over the urinals, begging that you didn't use them and instead peed "over there". "Over there" was a big funnel into a big Nalgene bottle contained in an even bigger barrel of ice.

The signs assured one that the urine would not be drug tested in any way, and thanked you in advance for your contribution to the study and advancement of urine processing in space.
posted by the Real Dan at 1:16 PM on May 14, 2015 [4 favorites]




Is there some official NASA solution that they train them on or do the other astronauts just explain the technique to the rookies over lunch before launch day?

Uh, I sincerely doubt it, but there might just be some pron video out there in the nets along those lines if you look hard enough. So to speak.
posted by aught at 1:19 PM on May 14, 2015


I just realized I took a thread about an awesome woman astronaut and asked a question about "hey what do men do about..." And even though it's a question I have long wondered about, this was not the tread to ask it in. I'll go ahead and flag myself. So to speak.
posted by bondcliff at 1:27 PM on May 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Put your...foot... in your mouth, eh?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:57 PM on May 14, 2015


I've watched a few of these tours featuring various astronauts and it's clear the ISS is not for claustrophobics. Particularly not the Russian modules (which seem to be the older parts of the station and are much narrower).

Bondcliff, I wasn't sure how serious you were but other videos show that astronauts have their own little sleeping cubicles with doors of a sort, and there are lots of obscure nooks and crannies where one can get away from others for a bit. I don't think finding an opportunity is exactly... rocket science.
posted by aught at 2:03 PM on May 14, 2015


For those of you (I cannot be the only one). The outhouse sign in the background.
posted by jeribus at 2:09 PM on May 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


do people not open the toilet door while holding a paper towel in space?

...do people do that here?

smh at anyone who thinks we're not basically covered in aerosolized fecal matter all the time no matter what we do
posted by Sokka shot first at 2:13 PM on May 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


That video about healthy snacks is great! I'm curious if eating a macadamia nut on the fly took multiple takes. Plus, this photo she took is the best.

He gets a shoutout in the Cristoforetti article, but you gotta also hand it to Chris Hadfield. His video about what happens when you wring out a washcloth in space is amazing. I was gobsmacked, I mean I knew something would be different but I'd never imagined THAT.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 2:41 PM on May 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


I love that she doesn't use a towel. She deploys a towel.
Kickass.
posted by Kabanos at 3:03 PM on May 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


If I lived in microgravity I would devote at least 40 minutes of my personal time every day to finding new and cool ways to eat my snacks.
posted by Lyn Never at 3:23 PM on May 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Their urine is recycled, you hear that California? Their urine is RECYCLED!

Or are you better than astronauts?
posted by Cosine at 3:54 PM on May 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


My dream Mars mission includes her, Chris Hadfield, Sunita Williams, Don Pettit
Two words. Buzz. Aldrin. (If they could reverse aging in space, of course.)*
Two more words. Mae. Jemison. (Yes, I boldly went there.)
It's encouraging how many actually cool people have gone into space and returned even cooler. (Yeah, John Glenn did fall in with a bad crowd - politicians) That alone is reason to keep increasing NASA funding for human space exploration for the next century.

*and I'm speaking as the originator of the usually-watermark-removed Neil Before Zod meme.
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:30 PM on May 14, 2015


I have to say, the ability to post to social media from space may well be the best thing to happen to the space program since the Moon landings. No matter how mundane the tweets are, the fact that astronauts in Douglass Adams or Red Sox t-shirts are posting photos and science and jokes while they orbit the Earth is a pretty special thing.

So much this.
posted by Greg_Ace at 5:45 PM on May 14, 2015


Mike Mullane briefly addressed the topic as it related to the shuttle:

The prizewinner in the category of fielding the most difficult question was Don Peterson (class of 1969). After one of his speeches, several members of the audience came to him with their questions. One asked, “Is there privacy on the shuttle to masturbate?” Don was immediately thrown into a panic. It was like being asked, “Do you feel better since you’ve stopped beating your wife?” It was impossible to answer. He considered saying no, but that implied astronauts had searched for such privacy. He imagined his face on a supermarket tabloid under the headline “Astronaut Complains: No Privacy to Spank the Monkey.” A yes reply held equally embarrassing possibilities: “Astronaut Admits to Five-Knuckle Shuffle in Space.” He mumbled an incomprehensible answer, praying whatever it was it wouldn’t come back to haunt him in the National Enquirer.
posted by 1367 at 11:19 PM on May 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


I've had her circled on G+ since before she launched and it was weird how personally connected I felt to her launch, how thrilling (and relieving!) it was to read about its success.

My favourite writing of hers is her eyewitness account of the ammonia leak alarm aboard ISS.

https://plus.google.com/+SamanthaCristoforetti/posts/YRvtvYbKuUF

Ammonia leaks are an existential threat to the ISS, up there with decompression and fire. Shit got real there for a couple days.
posted by Sauce Trough at 11:44 PM on May 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Bondcliff, I wasn't sure how serious you were but other videos show that astronauts have their own little sleeping cubicles with doors of a sort

Yeah, I wasn't really thinking about privacy so much as containment of the, er, rocket fuel.
posted by bondcliff at 6:46 AM on May 15, 2015


Just like on Earth, a towel will do.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:18 AM on May 15, 2015


What I really would love to know is how the astronauts, particularly the man, deal with masturbation.

"The best results seem to be obtained through fantasization, accompanied by masturbation, followed by ejaculation."
posted by kirkaracha at 7:28 AM on May 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Found this while reading Bad Astronomy this morning: Samantha Cristoforetti shows up on an episode of Smarter Every Day, as part of a story about the cupola module.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 1:32 PM on May 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


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