NASA SpaceX Endeavour broken toilets forces astronauts to use diapers

Publication Date07 November 2021
Due to a broken toilet on board the Crew Dragon spacecraft named the Endeavour, the NASA astronauts will have to return in diapers, the Associated Press reported.

"Spaceflight is full of lots of little challenges," NASA astronaut Megan McArthur explained regarding the "suboptimal" but manageable situation in a Friday news conference, AP reported. "This is just one more that we'll encounter and take care of in our mission. So we're not too worried about it."

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The fact that astronauts will be forced to wear a diaper during the approximately 20-hour trip may be irritating for them, but it is nothing new in the field of space travel.

Logistical issues in spacecraft have traditionally made using the bathroom difficult. This was made evident back in 1961, when Alan Shepard was set to be the first person in space and realized, hours into waiting for his spacecraft to launch, that he needed to pee, and had to be given the all-clear by mission control to go in his spacesuit. There were legitimate fears at the time regarding this endeavor, as some were concerned this could have caused some of the equipment to short, but this did not end up being a problem.

Since then, NASA used a special device made by the B.F. Goodrich company and integrated it into the suit itself to adequately collect waste, which was ready in time for the next space mission later that year.

But the importance of a means for helping astronauts find a way to pee is more than just fodder for toilet humor, as the effects of space travel have a noticeable impact on the human bladder.

This was especially noted in 1962 with astronaut John Glenn. During his mission, he used his urinary collection device just once, according to the Smithsonian Magazine. However, he managed to fill the device with 27 ounces of urine. For comparison, the human bladder is physically incapable of holding more...

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