A 45-minute, naked, miserable affair
July 24, 2019 8:21 PM   Subscribe

 
Who are you, Johnny Wallflower?
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 8:31 PM on July 24, 2019 [12 favorites]


Can't let him monopolize this kind of thing.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:36 PM on July 24, 2019 [13 favorites]


Cool that somebody tried this. I’m watching Apollo 11 this evening. I watched For All Mankind earlier and enjoyed it but the Apollo 11 movie feels very much more rooted in that particular moment and the generally higher film resolution really brings it alive. There are instances of very low tech equipment throughout; the launch reporters using portable typewriters, calling in stories over banks of pay phones, and there's even a moment where one of the control technicians appears to send a message off in a pneumatic tube. It's cool that this solution was workable enough to get them there and back. The whole thing is so mind boggling...especially since Kitty Hawk wasn't much further back in time from Apollo 11 than we are from it today.
posted by bonobothegreat at 8:37 PM on July 24, 2019 [6 favorites]


We choose to poop in space, not because it's easy . . .
I needed this more than I would have imagined; now I keep imagining where the Wright brothers pooped. Shovels and sand, I imagine, eventually got us to the moon. So to speak.
posted by pt68 at 8:46 PM on July 24, 2019 [3 favorites]


I say this knowing that it is only my 84th comment on the Blue, in spite of being a dedicated MeFite through thick and thin (on the Bristol Stool Chart) for far too long. If I had the chance to undergo the indignity of using the Apollo program's defecation tool in front of Neil Armstrong, I would have taken it. By it, I mean both the chance and the crap. Not for the sake of the indignity, but for the sake of the glory.
posted by jjray at 8:46 PM on July 24, 2019 [8 favorites]


I really hope that’s the last time I have to shit naked into a plastic bag stuck to my ass.

Son, there wasn’t a first time.

I love the NASA demonstration picture, though. I want to use it as a reaction jpg.
posted by Countess Elena at 8:48 PM on July 24, 2019 [8 favorites]


Carpet tape? Ow!
posted by Dip Flash at 8:51 PM on July 24, 2019 [3 favorites]


check out this shit from, like, last week.
posted by clavdivs at 9:03 PM on July 24, 2019 [1 favorite]


Per asspera ad asstra amirite
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:05 PM on July 24, 2019 [18 favorites]


Journalist: Hello, my boss. I would like to write an article about the difficulty of using Apollo-era space toilets.

Boss: Sure, sounds interesting.

Journalist: Since I have no budget or connections, I don't have access to any Apollo-era space toilets, or any zero-gravity environment.

Boss: Go on.

Journalist: So what I'm going to do is just tape a plastic bag to my ass, get in my bathtub, take a crap, and write about that.

Boss: I'll alert our ad partners.
posted by value of information at 9:18 PM on July 24, 2019 [53 favorites]


Oh gosh something about the plaid pants with bag, er, at ready, is just so funny to me that I can't stop laughing at it.

And the little two-finger glove! omg! I read the twitter thread that mentioned it, but I did not picture that.

It's kind of funny to think about this in the context of what absolute rock stars astronauts were. I wonder if the government censored any of this because it wasn't quite glamorous enough to meet mission standards?
posted by grandiloquiet at 9:29 PM on July 24, 2019 [4 favorites]


If that demo pic hasn't already been an album cover or three, it ought to be.
posted by cortex at 9:49 PM on July 24, 2019 [7 favorites]


The truth is that, really, waste management was something of an afterthought for the Apollo program, since they were pretty focused on just trying to find a way to get to the moon and back, period. In fact, most of the equipment and procedures are taken directly from the Gemini program, especially the solid waste management system, which explains why it’s so basic and crude and relatively non-integrated into the hardware of the Command Module itself.

This reminds me of how as humans evolved our brains kept crudely forcing old systems like pain to do new things like emotions and like fitting the same teeth into a smaller and smaller area and stuff like "the coping mechanism that worked when I was little are crippling me as an adult" is something of an afterthought, since they were pretty focused on just trying to reproduce and stay alive.
posted by bleep at 10:11 PM on July 24, 2019 [13 favorites]


Is there an Apollo poo chronology? I'm wondering, among other things, whether Collins waited until Armstrong and Aldrin left him alone ("Finally!") before having a nice relaxing poo as he did laps round the moon. I know I have read somewhere that one astronaut supposedly took anti-diarrheal medicine to completely avoid voiding in the void.
posted by pracowity at 1:18 AM on July 25, 2019 [2 favorites]


A timely thank you is required for posting this! Our upstairs bathroom just flooded into our downstairs bathroom (old house, all the bathrooms are on the same side) . This may come in handy as an alternative option! Now, we're reenacting the Apollo missions!
posted by Nanukthedog at 2:42 AM on July 25, 2019 [4 favorites]


Metafilter: Not for the sake of the indignity, but for the sake of the glory.
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 2:43 AM on July 25, 2019


In days of old
When Astronauts were bold
And "Space Toilets" weren't invented
You dumped your load
In a bag we're told
And you floated a way contented.
posted by Nanukthedog at 2:47 AM on July 25, 2019 [18 favorites]


We can send a man to the moon, but we can't figure out a good way to shit in space!
posted by briank at 4:45 AM on July 25, 2019


I'm not sure whether it would be the claustrophobia that would kill me or the stench.
You can't open a window in a space ship, you know?

People smell bad.

I guess anosmia would be a useful adaptation to living in a tin can for a long time.
posted by seanmpuckett at 5:00 AM on July 25, 2019


I can barely use a urinal at the office when someone is standing next to me. The last time I had to pee in a cup it took two hours, knowing there was someone on the other side of the door not just waiting on me but proctoring me. Having to basically sharing a stall with someone while a plastic bag is taped to my backside is definitely one of the things The Bad Place would use to torture me.

The fact that astronauts were able to, as the article suggests, set aside decades of upbringing and social convention to deal with this is amazing. In so many ways, tremendous and small, they are better people than I am.
posted by MrGuilt at 5:13 AM on July 25, 2019 [3 favorites]


That was definitely not as fun as a fart in a spacesuit.
posted by Termite at 6:04 AM on July 25, 2019 [1 favorite]


We choose to poop in space, not because it's easy . . .

The other day I was watching a youtube thing about food in the International Space Station and they were talking about garbage disposal and how they send some back on reusable capsules and some they put in disposable capsules that burn up on Earth re-entry and all I could think was "I wonder if the astronauts are raining incinerated shit down on us" like Triumph to insult dog would if he could. It certainly puts a different spin/orbit on the space program for me.
posted by srboisvert at 6:27 AM on July 25, 2019 [1 favorite]


The fact that astronauts were able to, as the article suggests, set aside decades of upbringing and social convention to deal with this is amazing. In so many ways, tremendous and small, they are better people than I am.

They were all from military backgrounds and presumably used to a lack of privacy.
posted by octothorpe at 6:28 AM on July 25, 2019 [5 favorites]


This post needs the hero tag.
posted by theora55 at 6:48 AM on July 25, 2019


The fact that astronauts were able to, as the article suggests, set aside decades of upbringing and social convention to deal with this is amazing.

Maybe part of their training was to take turns crapping in a bag in front of one another on those weightlessness training flights. "Christ, Neil, what is Janet feeding you? I swear this one is moving." "Heh. That's one large turd for [fart noise] man..."
posted by pracowity at 7:54 AM on July 25, 2019 [3 favorites]


The recent PBS 3-part "Chasing The Moon" has one of the other Apollo astronauts (I forget who, it was before Apollo 11) talking about how he went the entire mission not pooping because he thought the thing they rigged for it was so awful he couldn't stand to use it. And when they landed they were all being greeted and hailed and all he wanted to do was run to the nearest bathroom.
posted by dnash at 8:16 AM on July 25, 2019 [2 favorites]


I say this knowing that it is only my 84th comment on the Blue, in spite of being a dedicated MeFite through thick and thin (on the Bristol Stool Chart) for far too long.

Metafilter: through thick and thin (on the Bristol Stool Chart)

If that demo pic hasn't already been an album cover or three, it ought to be.

Anal Bum Cover, you say?
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 9:53 AM on July 25, 2019 [2 favorites]


the fact that astronauts were able to, as the article suggests, set aside decades of upbringing and social convention to deal with this is amazing.

Quick derail....as a Ontario highschool wrestler, I attended a meet in Flint, Michigan where the washroom just had a row of toilets without walls....I'm taking it that this wasn’t at all a common arrangement in high schools.

I had nightmares about it.
posted by bonobothegreat at 2:52 PM on July 25, 2019


let's not and say we did, hmm?
posted by KleenexMakesaVeryGoodHat at 5:59 PM on July 25, 2019


>> “Then the bag was sealed, placed into an outer bag, then stored.”

The lunar ascent module was jettisoned on the way back. I ain’t read anything saying it’s true, but who wouldn’t pack it full of garbage, and, um, used bags.

Just one of the tings I wonder about...
posted by xtian at 4:47 AM on July 26, 2019


The astronauts left their bags of human waste on the moon.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:53 AM on July 26, 2019


Don't say "human waste." Say "long-lived bacterial colonies."
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 10:30 AM on July 26, 2019 [2 favorites]


That's a good point; maybe next time we visit we'll see a variety of critters of the family Lunae faecibus sp. roaming the moon's surface.
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:02 AM on July 26, 2019 [1 favorite]


Sort of the plot of Asimov's "Founding Father", if you squint a bit.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:54 PM on July 26, 2019


Lucky that by the time of the Shuttle we’d advanced so far or Lisa Nowak would have had an even more ridiculous story when she was arrested. Note that she later denied the story. Well, I have to ask: who wouldn’t?
posted by Gilgamesh's Chauffeur at 6:33 PM on July 27, 2019


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