This Is How The Toilet On The International Space Station Works

restroom (1)

Using a restroom in microgravity when you are just floating and can not even sit straight, sounds like an arduous task, doesn’t it?

The NASA engineers have solved this problem by designing special toilets on the ISS. Like it or not, the specialists and engineers have to solve pooping problems, and astronauts have to get potty trained, quite literally. Here is how those training toilets look like:

Source: Popular Science

In order to use the restroom on the ISS, an astronaut has to strap their feet to avoid floating away. Since in microgravity, you can not even sit down properly; it is, therefore, imperative to align the body with the toilet. A camera looks up from the toilet to let the astronaut keep their proper orientation.

The next step after they are seated obviously is a little different due to microgravity. There is no gravity to help pull things down, but the rest of the movement is controlled by the muscles of the body, so that does not pose a great problem. 
What happens to the waste after you are done relieving yourself? It can not just go into the toilet by itself so, there is a vacuum hose to suck it in. A separate device collects the urine and purifies it to get drinking water. 
Source: Azarael
What if the suction pump is not working? The astronauts do it into a baggy. That baggy contains ampules which are crushed to react with the waste which avoids any off gassing or bacterial growth.
The good part of being in space is that the foods are modified as to not require the astronaut to go to the bathroom too often. 
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