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NASA 'Space Poop Challenge' a Step-Up From Diapers

Image: NASA 'Space Poop Challenge' a Step-Up From Diapers

(NASA)

By    |   Thursday, 16 Feb 2017 11:58 AM

NASA astronauts in the upcoming Orion mission may get cutting-edge diaper replacements for the long journey past the moon, as the "Space Poop Challenge" announces three winning designs.

Astronauts typically wear a garment similar to an adult diaper when they're in the spacesuit, but usually not for more than a few hours. But NASA is planning for missions that may require astronauts to wear their suits for days at a time, requiring a new, more high-tech method of removing waste.

The 60-day contest, headed by crowdfunding service HeroX, drew 5,000 designs from 19,000 contestants. The top award, and $15,000, went to Col. Thatcher R. Cardon of the U.S. Air Force, whose "MACES Perineal Access & Toileting System" uses a two-part machine inspired by minimally invasive surgery to expel waste through small openings.

"The ability to protect the crew while in a pressurized suit for such an emergency situation is one that has never before been tested in space and is critical for crew health," Kirstyn Johnson, NASA spacesuit engineer, said in a news release. "It was invigorating to see the number of people interested and engaged in the challenge. From here, we'll be able to use aspects of the winning designs to develop future waste management systems for use in the suit."

Second place went to the Texas-based Team Space Poop Unification of Doctors, or SPUDs, who devised an air-powered venting system, and third place went to British designer Hugo Shelley's "SWIMSuit — Zero Gravity Underwear," which draws waste into a compressible pouch.

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NASA astronauts in the upcoming Orion mission may get cutting-edge diaper replacements for the long journey past the moon, as the "Space Poop Challenge" announces three winning designs.
nasa, space poop challenge
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2017-58-16
Thursday, 16 Feb 2017 11:58 AM
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