Astronaut Poop: Apollo 10 Records Show It's Hard to Go In Space

Image: Astronaut Poop: Apollo 10 Records Show It's Hard to Go In Space Apollo 10 Command Module interior.

Friday, 19 Jul 2013 03:03 PM

By Alexandra Ward

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Even professional, highly trained, space-exploring astronauts think poop is funny, according to newly declassified transcripts from the 1969 Apollo 10 mission.

The 500-page mission records detail the primitive methods of in-space defecation, in which "a plastic bag was taped to the buttocks."

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"In general, the Apollo waste management system worked satisfactorily from an engineering standpoint," according to the biomedical review. "From the point of view of crew acceptance, however, the system must be given poor marks."

Apollo 10 saw commander Tom Stafford, lunar module pilot Gene Cernan, and command module pilot John Young complete an eight-day round-the-moon mission that paved the way for future moon landings. According to NASA, all mission objectives for Apollo 10 were achieved.

But the men had some trouble when it came to gravity and poop.

Here is an excerpt from the logs:

"Oh… Who did it?" Tom Stafford asks at one point, referring to a "floater." Confused, Young and Cernan reply, "Who did what?"

Cernan: "Where did that come from?"

Stafford: "Get me a napkin quick. There's a turd floating through the air."

Young: "I didn't do it. It ain't one of mine."

Cernan: "I don't think it's one of mine."

Stafford: "Mine was a little more sticky than that. Throw that away."

Young: "God Almighty" (laughter)


A similar situation cropped up a few pages later:


Cernan: "Here's another [godd—] turd. What's the matter with you guys? Here, give me a…"

(laughter from Young and Stafford)

Stafford: "It was just floating around?"

Cernan: "Yes."

Stafford (laughing): "Mine was stickier than that."

Young: "Mine was too. It hit that bag…"

Cernan: "I don't know whose that is. I can neither claim it nor disclaim it (laughter)."

Young: "What the hell is going on here?"


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