For all the majesty of space exploration there’s certain biological inevitabilities that have to be addressed: sometimes man has to take one small step to the commode before making any giant leaps for mankind.
Space.com has the scoop on how to void yourself in zero-gravity, and there are some revelations in there. As much as you want to giggle, using the toilet in space is a non-trivial issue. From logistical and engineering challenges to the hard truth that if waste were to interfere with spacecraft circuitry it would almost certainly be the most expensive deuce ever dropped.
Modern astronauts certainly have it better than those on the Apollo missions, who had to use a finger to coax movements into ‘fecal collection bags’ adhered to their behinds – reminding us we take gravity for granted in more ways than we know. Though things are decidedly more high tech now, it’s still an imprecise art.
Don’t miss the video of bashful NASA employees demonstrating the ‘positioning trainer’: a practice toilet with a camera at the bottom of its tiny hole designed to teach astronauts the delicate art of positioning oneself for stage two detachment. So to speak.