The Northrop Grumman Antares rocket is launched from NASA (National Aeronautical and Space Administration) Center for International Space Station. One of the items that go with this Cygnus cargo spacecraft, named as India’s first female astronaut Kalpana Chawla, is Space Toilet formerly known as Universal Waste Management System. With a budget of more than $ 23 million i.e. 174 crore rupees, this toilet was designed to make it easier for women to space. If this system is successful, it will be a historic step towards making the space more comfortable for women in the space. Lack of toilets made it difficult for women to go into space for a long time.
Ready in 6 years
It has taken 6 years to make this special toilet. Till now it used to be a big challenge for women to go into the space that according to them there are no toilets but with an increasing number of female astronauts, this important need is finally going to be fulfilled. The microgravity toilets still used in space (in the picture) were made with male astronauts in mind, but as the number of female astronauts increased, the need for a particular toilet was felt.
This way different than before
Especially when a woman and a man are ready to be sent under the Artemis Mission to the moon by 2024. Its test on ISS will be important for Artemis. The toilet will have a funnel-suction system for women and special design has been designed to allow the astronauts to fit themselves in a better way. It will have less mass and volume than earlier systems and will also be easier to use. Not only this, but it will also have the facility of Urine treatment so that it can be processed in the spacecraft’s recycling system. There will also be special hooks to trap the feet of astronauts while sitting on the seat.
Toilets were challenged for women
Developing a waste collection system in a spacecraft is a major challenge due to gravity. Particularly difficult to separate urine and feces (Urine and Faeces). While urine is used as drinking water after recycling, the sewage is kept in a container. Earlier designs were made keeping male passengers in mind, but due to differences in anatomy, creating a unisex toilet (for both women and men) was a major challenge.