Ask ARSE: What Happens to Space Farts?

Ask ARSE: What Happens to Space Farts?

We've had some interesting questions coming in so let s go ahead and: Ask ARSE.

"Hey guys, big ARSE head here. I was wondering when astronauts drop their play-lunch, what happens to the fart? Does it push the astronaut? Does it get stuck? Thanks and keep up the great work."
- Pauline, 36

Thanks, Paula.
A good question because such things are quite prevalent in space and must be accounted for when designing and building equipment such as space suits and the like. 

As for your first question, farts that are within a suit made for exploration outside a craft like the heavy space suits get trapped with their host's body inside the undersuit for a time.

Although, as you can see, the undersuit has a distinct layered seal around the neck. Therefore, the fart will not be smelled by the astronaut, although they may marinate in it for a time.

When astronauts are not in the space suit and floating about, the fart smell is exaggerated by the lack of airflow from the recycled air used and its inability to mask any smell. 

Have you ever farted in the shower and it seems far more pungent?

Same goes in space.

As per your second question on the ability to thrust about in space from a fart, this is very near impossible. 

Firstly, you would need to channel the fart through a funnel-like object to disperse the thrust appropriately. The problem with our anatomy down there as it pertains to thrusting is that the fart immediately flies out in all directions and not in one concerted direction to provide thrust. 

You're actually better off trying to reverse thrust from a sneeze.

Thanks for the inquiry and spreading ARSE further than ever before.

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For all the education, training and work that is expected from an astronaut their pay should be much higher than what they are currently earning.


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