We had an overwhelming response to our recent Ask Arse article on the ins and (mostly) outs of using the restroom in space.
So much so that folks need to know more about the history of using the loo in the deep unknown.
And we just so have it that there's an amazing true story about the wins and failures of the space bathroom revolution.
The first American to venture into space was decorated Rear Admiral, Alan Shepherd, who was the proud owner of a penis that he used for urination among other things.
The planned mission into space for Mr Shepherd was only meant to be 15 minutes before returning into our atmosphere, as NASA feared there was no ability to swallow let alone pee in zero gravity.
However, as fate would have it, Shepherd was left in his suit for hours with launchpad delays building and eventually asked permission to wet himself.
He was granted this freedom and entered space a wet mess.
This lead to the introduction of a condom-like sheath that was secured to the penis and came in sizes small, medium and large,
From some macho testosterone-fuelled reason, all the astronauts began to claim they needed a large wee sheath when in fact they did not.
The result was the sheath flying off the penis like a ghost and leaving urine in its wake.
This resulted in the sheaths being colloquially named "Extra-Large", "Immense", and "Unbelievable".
Reportedly from then on the average sheath used was the trusty "Extra-Large".
Eventually the condom-like sheath was developed to attach to a valve that would allow the urine to be majestically sucked into space, however, the timing was of the utmost importance.
If timed too late, the urine would be sucked out into the cabin.
If timed too early it was the astronaut's penis that was sucked.
The famed second man on the moon, Buzz Aldrin, was in fact the first man to fill his balloon there, thus making him the first man to pee on the moon.
During the film Apollo 13, astronaut Fred Haise portrayed by the late Bill Paxton, became quite ill.
This wasn't explored in great detail during the film, but the reason being the astronauts storied all their urine by orders of NASA after an accident caused the warming mechanism that prevented pee from freezing was faulty.
Therefore, their pee would freeze and could not be evacuated.
The backup system caused small droplets to float around the craft so the astronauts began storing the wee in their suits, essentially bathing in their urine.
Haise developed a urinary tract infection and then a kidney infection.
So there you go.
A crash course in the historical functionality of the penis in space, or lack thereof.
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