Nugget of Knowledge: Toilet in space

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Designers had to be creative when building this toilet for astronauts -- because gravity is something we take for granted in bathrooms on Earth

(WYTV) – It’s up there, orbiting with the International Space Station. The new space toilet — really new and improved.

The new toilet arrived at the International Space Station October 5.

NASA has been waiting for the perfect space toilet, and this one cost $28 million to design and build. It’s meant to last.

Gravity is something we take for granted in bathrooms on Earth. It’s missing in the Space Station so designers have had to be creative.

For one thing, the new commode is a better fit for female astronauts. It’s also sleeker, lighter and half as large as the two toilets now in use. The Russians built those.

The new loo weighs just 100 pounds and measures 28 inches tall.

The seat is angled slightly downward, which should help astronauts using it for #1, as well as #2. It uses suction so astronauts can go to the bathroom and go boldly!

The toilet will stay on the ISS for the life of the station, but it’s also going where no toilet has gone before. The new, smaller toilet will be able to fit into the NASA Orion capsules, which will travel to the moon in future missions.

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