Everybody poops — up to and including astronauts.
Problem? NASA doesn't know what to do when with all that astronaut poop. But they're hoping you've got the right stuff to help 'em out.
In order to help its serviemen and women take a giant leap past the confines of going to the bathroom in a diaper or with the assistance of a vacuum hose, NASA has issued the Space Poop Challenge. Basically, the No. 1 space agency in the world needs helps designing a sterile “in-suit waste management system” astronauts can use when they’re confined to a suit but need to go No. 2.
The ideal design would be able to route fecal, urinary and menstrual releases “away from the body without the use of hands” to help keep astronauts alive and healthy for up to 144 hours in the event of a “contingency scenario” or during the performance of long duration tasks.
“The system has to operate in the conditions of space — where solids, fluids, and gases float around in microgravity (what most of us think of as ‘zero gravity’) and don't necessarily mix or act the way they would on earth,” according to NASA’s description of what a “breakthrough” design should entail.
NASA is taking entries through December 20th and plans to deposit $30k in the winner’s hand.
Do your doodie, er, duty.