Poop in Spaaace!
May 6, 2010 8:50 PM   Subscribe

The Space Potty - the one question astronauts get asked most often: "How do you 'go' in space?" [via]
posted by Burhanistan (23 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Turds In Space
posted by twoleftfeet at 8:57 PM on May 6, 2010

well, then there are these questions...
posted by HuronBob at 9:11 PM on May 6, 2010

posted by pompomtom at 9:26 PM on May 6, 2010

Silly people, everyone knows astronauts have wills of iron. They just hold it until they get back.
posted by Malor at 9:41 PM on May 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

The other question is how do they 'go' when driving across the country?
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:51 PM on May 6, 2010 [2 favorites]

Because there's no gravity in space, the ass muscle contractions can't force the poop out, and instead push the turd back up into the intestines, causing death. Astronauts are specially trained to use their sphinctors to hold the poop right there in the anal canal for the duration of the mission. At NASA, this is referred to as the "space-jam". Occasionally, if the astronaut is at risk of fecal poisoning, then they have to use a special suction-cup pump tool to get that shit out, or "pump up the jam" as they say.
posted by jefbla at 10:27 PM on May 6, 2010 [9 favorites]

Newer space vehicles emulate the contorted twists and tangles of the alimentary canal during space flight, allowing poop to evacuate even under very small gravitational influences.
posted by twoleftfeet at 10:31 PM on May 6, 2010

On the bright side, astronauts with upset stomachs are saved embarrassment, because in space nobody can hear your stream.
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:38 PM on May 6, 2010


Sorry. It seemed funny at the time.
posted by twoleftfeet at 10:40 PM on May 6, 2010

They must think: "Well, this is me, shitting in orbit."
posted by longsleeves at 10:43 PM on May 6, 2010

or "here am I, shitting in a tin can, far above the world"
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:02 PM on May 6, 2010 [11 favorites]

*sits on the trainer seat, turns on the camera and monitor, and...*

Christ, what a slightly misaligned asshole!
posted by pracowity at 11:59 PM on May 6, 2010 [3 favorites]

You guys are all off base. Holding it in would ruin* the whole "strictly anal sex" business.

* or make it more interesting... whatever floats your boatship...
posted by qvantamon at 1:11 AM on May 7, 2010

So yeah - yer dealing with poop and pee and not letting it destroy your claim. They're homesteaders! I feel like I'm watching Firefly!
posted by smartyboots at 1:11 AM on May 7, 2010

first up in the "Related Posts" window - "Dark Flow September 25, 2008"
posted by From Bklyn at 1:12 AM on May 7, 2010

You should see Chewbacca's powder room in the Millenium Falcon. It's pretty sweet.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:51 AM on May 7, 2010



1 The Toilet is of the standard zero-gravity type. Depending on requirements, system A and/or system B can be used, details of which are clearly marked in the toilet compartment. When operating system A, depress lever and a plastic dalkron eliminator will be dispensed through the slot immediately underneath. When you have fastened the adhesive lip, attach connection marked by the large "X" outlet hose. Twist the silver coloured ring one inch below the connection point until you feel it lock.

2 The toilet is now ready for use. The Sonovac cleanser is activated by the small switch on the lip. When securing, twist the ring back to its initial-condition, so that the two orange lines meet. Disconnect. Place the dalkron eliminator in the vacuum receptacle to the rear. Activate by pressing the blue button.

3 The controls for system B are located on the opposite wall. The red release switch places the uroliminator into position; it can be adjusted manually up or down by pressing the blue manual release button. The opening is self-adjusting. To secure after use, press the green button which simultaneously activates the evaporator and returns the uroliminator to its storage position.

4 You may leave the lavatory if the green exit light is on over the door. If the red light is illuminated, one of the lavatory facilities is not properly secured. Press the "Stewardess" call button to the right of the door. She will secure all facilities from her control panel outside. When green exit light goes on you may open the door and leave.

5 To use the Sonoshower, first undress and place all your clothes on the clothes rack. Put on the velcro slippers located in the cabinet immediately below. Enter the shower. On the control panel to your upper right upon entering you will see a "Shower seal" button. Press to activate. A green light will then be illuminated immediately below. On the intensity knob select the desired setting. Now depress the Sonovac activation lever. Bathe normally.

6 The Sonovac will automatically go off after three minutes unless you activate the "Manual off" over-ride switch by flipping it up. When you are ready to leave, press the blue "Shower seal" release button. The door will open and you may leave. Please remove velcro slippers and place them in the container.

7 If the red light above this panel is on, the toilet is in use. When the green light is illuminated you may enter. However, you must carefully follow all instructions when using the facilities during coasting (Zero G) flight. Inside there are three facilities: (1) the Sonowasher, (2) the Sonoshower, (3) the toilet. All three are designed to be used under weightless conditions. Please observe the sequence of operations for each individual facility.

8 Two modes for Sonowashing your face and hands are available, the "moist-towel" mode and the "Sonovac" ultrasonic cleaner mode. You may select either mode by moving the appropriate lever to the "Activate" position.
If you choose the "moist-towel" mode, depress the indicated yellow button and withdraw item. When you have finished, discard the towel in the vacuum dispenser, holding the indicated lever in an "active" position until the green light goes on . . .showing that the rollers have passed the towel completely into the dispenser. If you desire an additional towel, press the yellow button and repeat the cycle.

9 If you prefer the "Sonovac" ultrasonic cleaning mode, press the indicated blue button. When the twin panels open, pull forward by rings A and B. For cleaning the hands, use in this position. Set the timer to positions 10, 20, 30 or 40 . . . indicative of the number of seconds required. The knob to the left, just below the blue light, has three settings, low, medium or high. For normal use, the medium setting is suggested.

10 After these settings have been made, you can activate the device by switching to the "ON" position the clearly marked red switch. If, during the washing operation, you wish to change the settings, place the "manual off" over-ride switch in the "OFF" position. You may now make the change and repeat the cycle.
posted by Jawn at 4:05 AM on May 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

the one question astronauts get asked most often: "How do you 'go' in space?"

On the Soyuz, from now on.

/bitter American human-spaceflight-fan
posted by Salvor Hardin at 4:25 AM on May 7, 2010

More on this from an aging Scottish folkie here
posted by aeshnid at 5:40 AM on May 7, 2010

In space, no one can hear you... uh...
posted by kinnakeet at 6:20 AM on May 7, 2010

posted by The Whelk at 6:54 AM on May 7, 2010

Heywood Floyd was chairman of the National Council on Astronautics in a world where space travel was commonplace. There was a Hilton in orbit and Pan-Am would take you to the Moon. How is it that this guy needed to study the instructions for the zero-gee toilet before use?
posted by rlk at 7:02 AM on May 7, 2010

Cause Kubrick had a bathroom fixation?
posted by The Whelk at 7:05 AM on May 7, 2010

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