NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson shares horrible space toilet experience

International Space Station
International Space Station Reuters

Peggy Whitson, the NASA astronaut, who spent 665 floating days in the International Space Station (ISS), said she is quite sad about the fact that she will never return to space again. She also revealed that even though she loved every aspect of space life, using the toilet was definitely not one of those cheering memories, as it was not easy in the ISS.

"Urinating's relatively easy. Number two... is more challenging because you're trying to hit a pretty small target," Whitson told Business Insider.

While urinating, astronauts often use a funnel-like equipment that suctions the pee away to make sure that it will not float off. After eight days, more than 85 percent of the urine collected will be recycled into drinking water and the remaining becomes brine waste.

While excreting feces, things often go awry as astronauts excrete into a little plate-sized hole on top of a silver can. There is a fan equipped in the latrine to suck the excrete away and the poop will later get deposited in a plastic bag. She also added, "After it starts getting full, you have to put a rubber glove on and pack it down."

Whitson mentioned that the toilet does malfunction sometimes and in these horrible moments, the astronauts have to deal with floating poops. Eventually, all the human excreta will be sent on a trajectory that will burn them up.

Apart from the problem with the toilet, Whitson described her moments in the International Space Station incredibly satisfying and gratifying.

This is not the first time that an astronaut at the ISS is making astonishing claims of space travel. In January 2018, Norishige Kanai, a Japanese astronaut currently residing at the ISS, has revealed that he became three and a half inches taller following his arrival at the space laboratory on December 19, 2017. The phenomenon of gaining height while in space is not a new thing. As per experts, a growth up to two inches in space is quite normal, but Kanai's case of gaining three and a half inches in such a short period of time seems incredible.

This article was first published on May 29, 2018
Related topics : Nasa