When Neil Armstrong became the first human to set foot on the moon and planted the American flag there, he uttered these now-famous words, “That’s one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind.” Ever since then, visitors have flocked to NASA in Houston to view moon rocks, look at space capsules, and imagine themselves wearing space suits.
And the first question every visitor asks is…
How Do Astronauts Pee?
Space suits are rigorously engineered, custom-fitted pieces of equipment. They have to keep an earth-like atmosphere circulating within, while keeping the deathly cold, no-oxygen-of-outer-space, out. Regardless of whether you’re looking at the early Pillsbury-Dough-Boy look, the orange Michelin-Tire-Man type of suit, or the almost tuxedo-like look of the modern Commercial Crew SpaceX, one thing every suit has to do is accommodate that most basic human need…to relieve oneself.
Space suits, also known as EMUs (Extravehicular Mobility Units) are constructed from various synthetic fabrics and tailor-made hardware components produced by over 80 companies. The size of the parts vary, ranging from one-eighth-inch washers to a 30 inch (76.2 cm) long water tank.
Back to your #1 concern…
Since space walks can last over seven hours at a time, the suit is fitted with a urine collection system to allow for bathroom breaks. The urine storage device is also located in the lower torso assembly of the suit. Older models could hold up to 950 milliliters (a quart) of liquid.
What do Astronauts Eat?
Space food has to be tasty, satisfy nutritional requirements, and not create crumbs. Unfortunately, the things we like on Earth – like beer – are not available to astronauts. As it turns out, the combination of zero gravity and fizziness produces ‘wet burping’ (NASA’s word for vomiting – ick!), so, no beer for the astronauts.
You, however, can enjoy a beer in Jetstream’s Beer Garden, make use of your own RV bathroom or our sparkling clean restroom facilities, and make dinner with all the crumbs you like.
Astronaut foods are freeze-dried in vacuum-sealed packages. Here’s an Astronaut recipe you and the kids can make in your own RV kitchen…
- Instant pudding mix
- Powdered milk
- Quart-sized zip top bags
- Measuring spoons
- A measuring cup
- Put 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons of dry pudding mix into each kid’s plastic bag.
- Add 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons of powdered milk to each kid’s bag. Mix it up. This is how the package would arrive at the space station.
- Use a measuring cup to pour in just under 1/2 cup of water and seal the bag.
- Double check that the bag is sealed, and then squish, squeeze, and mix the pudding until it’s all blended and starts to set up.
- Cut the corner off of the bag and squeeze it into your mouth, astronaut-style.
Since you are here on Earth, you can use bottled water or the water that comes out of your tap. Guess where the astronauts get water…recycled pee!
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