NASA has announced a contest for the best toilet on the moon. It should work both in zero gravity and in gravity conditions on the Earth’s satellite.
NASA has announced an open tender to design the “best moon toilet”. According to their plan, this device will use the nearest expedition to the Earth’s satellite. Despite the fact that the agency has its own developments, NASA wants to compare these projects with those that they will receive during the competition.
First of all, a toilet is needed for NASA’s Artemis program, whose goal is to send astronauts to the moon by 2024. This means that the toilet on board must be universal: it must work in orbit, where astronauts will work in zero gravity, and also when astronauts will experience one sixth of the Earth’s gravity on the lunar surface. Researchers warn that the operation of the device under these two conditions may be “radically different.”
“We want to look at how scientists from outside NASA will manage this project, they may have their own opinion and opinion on the design of the toilet,” said Mike Interbartolo, project manager at Lunar Loo Challenge, to The Verge. “NASA plans to award up to $ 35,000 and a commemorative badge that astronauts will take with them on a mission for best ideas”.
In the technical task of NASA noted that the toilet has several key requirements. Under conditions of Earth’s gravity, it should weigh less than 15 kg, consume less than 70 watts of electricity, make noise no louder than 60 decibels, serve both men and women.
Earlier, the International Space Station (ISS) installed a new advanced toilet system. The complex was developed taking into account modern space technologies and a long stay in space when flying to Mars, Space.com reports. But first they want to test it inside the ISS and during the flight to the station.
The official name for the toilet is NASA’s Universal Waste Management System (UWMS). This system is designed to bridge the gap between modern space technology for work on the ISS and those toilets that will be needed for long flights to Mars. It will begin testing in the early fall of 2020.