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Posted by on Jul 1, 2015 in Tell Me Why |

How Do Astronauts Bathe and Use Restrooms in Space?

How Do Astronauts Bathe and Use Restrooms in Space?

Astronauts in space bathe in a very complicated manner. The space station has a full body shower unit. When astronauts want to take a shower, they step into a cylindrical shower stall and close the door. They then get themselves wet and wash up just like you would on Earth.

However, due to weightlessness, the water droplets and soap don’t flow downwards into a drain, they float about. Astronauts use a suction device to get rid of the waste water.

Whereas restrooms have foot loops, thigh restraints, so that astronauts do not float away when using it. Also, due to weightlessness, the toilets rely on air and vacuum pump which creates suction to remove the waste.

When urinating, astronauts use a large tube that is connected to the bottom front of the toilet. This tube also has air circulating through it carrying the urine to a holding tank. Anatomically correct urine funnel adapters are attached to this tube so that both men and women can use the same toilet.

The most difficult part is when astronauts are working outside their craft in a spacesuit. Spacesuits are fitted with diapers so that astronauts can work outside for long hours especially during spacewalks.

Content for this question contributed by Amy Lacki, resident of Santa Cruz, California, USA