Ask ARSE: Where Did the Astronauts Poo?

Ask ARSE: Where Did the Astronauts Poo?

Upon the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, we have a topical question from a  young follower.

Without further ado, let's: Ask ARSE.

In school, we are having a space week for the Apollo 11 landing anniversary. My teacher said they don't have a toilet and I was wondering, what dd they do instead?

Thanks, Jason"

Well, Jamie, a very good question indeed as all those space food sticks have to end up somewhere!

It actually wasn't until the space shuttle of the 1980's until a craft had an onboard toilet. Until then, space 1's and 2's were quite challenging.

To put it in no uncertain terms, the astronauts on route to the moon would poo into a small bag in zero gravity, meaning the astronaut would be floating and the poo would also.

Wrestling a poo into a bag might sound fun, but when you can't rely on gravity or you have other astronauts getting caught in the crossfire it can be messy.

There was tape on the bags to attach to the bum cheeks of astronauts but was found to be more of a nuisance to stick properly and attributed to many "misfires".

For a wee, astronauts would use a device similar to a balloon or condom and fill it up, except it was not thrown (that we know of).

Spillage was all too common.

On average, using the bag would take between 15 to 25 minutes, with one astronaut even claiming one such occasion took 45 minutes to complete. 

The poo was not discarded, as NASA wished to study the space nards.

Therefore all bags were returned to Earth upon reentry and Apollo 11 was a pioneer vehicle that created history packed to the brim with bags of doodoo. 


When on the moon, astronauts wore a sophisticated space nappy.

This might sound crude especially when frolicking in low gravity, however, I'd take the diaper over the bag any day. 

Thank you for the interesting question Jamie and a happy Apollo anniversary to you.

If you know a friend who loves interesting space facts, tag them and spread ARSE as we thrust into the deep unknown.


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