Nasa launches Lunar Loo challenge

Rodiano Bonacci
Novembre 16, 2020

Therefore, the toilet is required to work in the microgravity of space (zero-g), as well as on the moon where the gravity is one-sixth of the Earth's. For the first place, you can be rewarded $20,000, $10,000 for second place, and $5,000 for third. "The process for using proposed toilet designs must be relatively straightforward", the agency said in a statement. The deadline for sending the designs is August 17, and they will name the winners in October.

Interbartolo, is project manager for the Lunar Loo Challenge, a NASA competition in partnership with HeroX launched on Thursday that hopes to attract new and innovative solutions to the problem of capturing and containing human waste in space.

NASA said that the astronauts exploring on the Moon will need a smaller, lighter, simpler toilet inside their lunar lander, because every ounce of mass on the lander is carefully allocated. The desired specifications of the space toilet are outlined on NASA's Lunar Loo guidelines page.

Another requirement on the toilet design was that it should also conserve water "help maintain a pristine environment inside the lander that is free of odours and other contaminants".

It should accommodate a crew of two astronauts for 14 days and allow the accumulated waste to be moved to storage or disposed of outside the spacecraft. This must also use less than 70 watts of power and make less noise than a typical bathroom fan.

Next time astronauts land on the Moon, they will have all sorts of advances the crew of Apollo 11 never dreamed of.

NASA said that while astronauts are in the cabin and out of their spacesuits, they will need a toilet that has all the same capabilities as ones here on Earth.

For example, it should not weigh more than 15 kg (on Earth), and despite that, be able to collect up to one liter of urine for each use, with an average of six uses per day for each group of astronauts. The current options are only designed for International Space Station (ISS), where there is no gravity.

Lunar surface gravity isn't the nearly absolute lack of gravity you see on the ISS, but it's just a fraction of what keeps us down on the home planet because the moon has less mass.

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