On Thursday, the Lunar Loo Challenge project was launched - a NASA contest that should solve the problem of human body excretion in space. The prize pool is $ 35,000; innovative toilet technology is required from the winner.
The Guardian announces a contest to solve the problem of human waste in space.
A new toilet is needed for Artemis - a program to return a man to the Moon and land there in 2024 "the first woman and the next man".
American space toilet technology since the Apollo program has not always been distinguished by grace and reliability. The sticky tape feces collection bags that needed to be attached to the buttocks were regularly let down by astronauts and called up dialogs about whoever poop was floating in the air.
The ISS has a large Russian-made structure that uses suction technology, thus solving the problem of the toilet in microgravity. However, NASA is looking for solutions that will work on the lunar surface, where gravity is about one sixth of the earth.
New designs should be lighter than 15 kg in terrestrial conditions, no larger than 0.12 m3 and produce no more noise than a standard bathroom fan. They should be able to meet all the needs that arise when women and men use the toilet, and do it safely and reliably.
In addition, the design of the toilets should be adapted to the needs of sick crew members suffering from vomiting and diarrhea, according to NASA.
Bonus points will be awarded to structures that can capture vomiting, without requiring the astronaut to lower his head into the toilet. Parameters such as the elegance and design of the room, as well as its ability to provide a certain level of confidentiality in small flight modules will be important.
The goal of the Artemis-3 mission, which is scheduled to be launched in 2024, should be the landing of a crew of a man and a woman at the South Pole of the Moon. This is the first astronaut flight to the lunar surface since 1972. “In preparation for this extraordinary event, we cannot forget about the usual needs of our astronauts”, - say the organizers of the contest.
Applications must be submitted before August 17 this year.
In the photo, the Orion spaceship, which should go to the moon in 2024.