back to article ISS 'naut: How we collect our POO and DROP it FLAMING on hapless Earthlings

Italy's first female astronaut, Samantha Cristoforetti, has offered the internet a full talkthrough on one of the International Space Station's most famous and terrifying facilities: its lavatory. Headlined the "International Space Station toilet tour", Cristoforetti's video explains how a fan creates suction to avoid smells …

  1. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. CraPo
    Paris Hilton

    I wonder...

    how many 'nauts have "accidentally" got their appendages stuck?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I wonder...

      You've raised the question of how do male astronauts relieve pent-up tension while in space. Into a sock?

      1. Wzrd1

        Re: I wonder...

        "You've raised the question of how do male astronauts relieve pent-up tension while in space. Into a sock?"

        Since it's space, an incredibly hostile and unnatural environment for humans, I'll actually respond.

        Considering the low atmospheric pressure *and* microgravity, one is already bloated, has incredibly stuffy sinuses and frequently suffer from motion sickness.

        Yeah, not wanting to fuck when I'm about to puke.

        And my experience is exclusively on Earth.

        There are other issues present, such as stress from being a second to around a minute from being dead, the dread of actual illness with only amateurs to give actual help and the potential for a paint chip to offer you those seconds to a minute time until death.

        Now, add in an impressive mission load, where every spare second is consumed, to avoid boredom, idle experimentation that isn't authorized or even opening the airlock to sniff external environment.

        Yeah, no sock or anything else required.

        Hell, under those conditions, it's likely that an erection would be decidedly uncomfortable.

      2. chivo243 Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: I wonder...

        AAhhhh the tour sock! Ask any musician who has traveled in a bus for any length of time.

      3. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: I wonder...

        You've raised the question of how do male astronauts relieve pent-up tension while in space. Into a sock?

        After a while it's a bit like living in snow-dome.....

        (thanks Seth McFarlane).

  3. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    Being good space-personages, do they launch their waste in the direction of Kazistan?

    Coat already on ...

    1. Captain DaFt

      "Being good space-personages, do they launch their waste in the direction of Kazistan?"

      Considering the way Washington dumps on NASA, I'm surprised American astronauts haven't aimed for a bit of payback. ;)

  4. Spanners Silver badge
    Holmes

    I wonder

    Was this designed by Howard Wolowitz?

    1. Slacker@work

      Re: I wonder

      If it did it would have a robotic hand...

    2. Martin Budden
      Trollface

      Re: I wonder

      Probably, because it's not even slightly humorous.

      (ducks for cover)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I wonder

        We can still see you hiding under all those ducks!

  5. TRT Silver badge

    And one day...

    a bag of poo dropped (plopped?) neatly into a micro black hole that formed briefly 200 miles above CERN. This momentary tear in the fabric of space-time deposited the poo over a wide area of the planet 1000 million years ago.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And one day...

      Or, in a 1 trillion years we've successfully colon-ized other worlds by function of spraying stray fecal matter across the universe.

    2. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: And one day...

      deposited the poo over a wide area of the planet 1000 million years ago.

      Which evolved into life as we know it. Some have not evolved much at all.

      Chicken Egg

      Egg Chicken

      Recursive brainache cycle.

  6. Sandtitz Silver badge
  7. Zog The Undeniable

    What about those horrific morning-after ones that come out like a flock of seagulls? I suppose you just cut your losses, use the escape pod and tell Houston there was a major hull breach, or you were attacked by a fleet of Vogons.

    1. Donkey Molestor X

      you bastard! i nearly suffered a catastrophic failure of laughter containment here at work.

  8. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Dropping in.

    Further proof, as every pigeon will tell you, that being higher up the gravity well¹ beats being higher up the food-chain.

    [1] provided of course you're in a self-sufficient environment and not dependent on those below.

  9. All names Taken
    Happy

    The Big Band Theory

    Wolowitz, Cooper, Hoffie and Koothrapalli must be thrilled to bits (about the Star Trek uniform)?

  10. Nolveys
    Alien

    Seems Wasteful

    If they can recycle urine...

    Mine's the one with the hydroponics bay with the odd smell.

    1. Crazy Operations Guy

      Re: Seems Wasteful

      The problem is that while urine is sterile, feces is the complete opposite as it is generated by millions / billions of bacteria and microbes. They would have to sterilize all of it before it can be re-purposed, and any missed bacteria could cause an outbreak of dysentery, salmonella or something much worse. So as it is now, the reward is no where near large enough to justify the risk. Perhaps in the future when we start launching seed ships, then we might be able to do it.

      I had wondered the same thing and this is what my research came up with.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Seems Wasteful

        ... as opposed to tomato seed ships...

      2. Lars Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Seems Wasteful

        " urine is sterile ". Some weeks ago during this latest earth quake there was a guy who managed to stay alive by drinking his own urine, nothing new there.

        Long ago, say during the "thirty year war" in Europe (has it ever stopped) urine was sometimes used to clean wounds rather than water?.

        As kids constantly burning our fingers for reasons I cannot remember, except that there seems to exist some wonderful love relationship between kids and fire, we used to piss on the fingers and the pain disappeared like magic.

        The love part reminds me of those early northern explorers who found great love among the Eskimo girls but complained about their habit of keeping their skin soft and clean using their own piss. I bet the girls had more reason to complain about hygiene among those heroes, but we can only guess.

        There is something "strangelove" with these bodily fluids here, if I could only remember.

      3. Martin Budden

        Re: Seems Wasteful

        any missed bacteria could cause an outbreak of dysentery, salmonella or something much worse

        For such an outbreak to occur one of the astronauts would need to be already carrying "dysentery, salmonella or something much worse", which is very unlikely given the health checks carried out before leaving Earth. An occurrence of E. Coli food poisoning would be possible because it can exist in healthy people's lower intestine.

        Sterilising poo is actually quite simple though, heat and/or UV light will do the trick, both of which are in plentiful supply on the ISS (due to all the unfiltered sunshine).

        1. Nolveys
          Windows

          Re: Seems Wasteful

          Sterilising poo is actually quite simple though, heat and/or UV light will do the trick...

          The really tricky part would be the wine pairing.

    2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    3. Stuart Moore

      Re: Seems Wasteful

      See the book "The Martian" by Andy Weir for a discussion of this as part of a great sci-fi novel. Definitely worth a read!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Adds new meaning to the term...

    "spray and pray"

  12. Ugotta B. Kiddingme

    love the "mission logo"

    seen 9 seconds into the video. Orbital Outhouse Team. classic.

  13. TRT Silver badge
  14. Alister

    Don't they know how to use the three seashells??

  15. Camilla Smythe

    Hope she is saving her zero gravity...

    Coffee Stained Panties, for sale on.....

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  16. Mark 85 Silver badge
    Coat

    Sent back in a flaming capsule..

    ... which lends a whole new meaning to the phrase "shit storm".

    Mine's the flaming-crap proof one -------------------->

  17. Chozo

    Terrifying?

    Spare a thought for the unsung heroes who did the 'ground' testing of the Skylab solid waste collection system aboard the infamous KC135 'Vomit Comet' where zero-g conditions can only be maintained for 30 seconds at a time.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Check out the pioneers in Mary Roach's book

    In her wonderful (and oftimes hilarious) book Packing for Mars is a chapter explaining these matters in detail.

  19. MrDamage Silver badge

    Crash helmet?

    Given Newton's third law, do they need a crash helmet to avoid injury following a dinner of beef n beans, or do they just hold on tight to the safety rails?

    1. Wzrd1

      Re: Crash helmet?

      Well, with a dinner of the impossible to fin din orbit beef and beans meal, it's a lot like the scene in RED. Do you want a vest? No, it wouldn't help.

      As for me, given a meal of beef and beans in orbit, due to age and an excessively long military career, with all of the physiological insults contained therein, what *I* would produce would sink immediately into a teraton thermonuclear event, destroying the planet and likely, causing harm to Sol.

  20. PassiveSmoking

    Dear astronauts,

    Please aim your next dump of dumps at the houses of Cameron, Miliband, Clegg and especially Farage.

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