The US space agency NASA is all set to launch a new space toilet. The advanced toilet is ready and will be launched at the International Space Station. The system will be used by astronauts before using it on future missions to Mars or Moon. The new toilet has been named the Universal Waste Management System. The agency has invested USD 23 million to develop the new system. It is smaller in size than the one currently in use at the ISS. NASA said that it is 65 percent smaller in size. It also weighs 40 percent lighter. The agency will send the new toilet to the ISS aboard a Northrop Grumman Cygnus cargo capsule.
The UWMS is said to be more comfortable. It can handle a larger crew. The agency is planning to open the ISS for commercial business. It will be fitted next to the current toilet in Node 3 of the ISS. Astronauts will test the toilet’s performance in the microgravity environment. Based on their feedback, NASA will decide on the system’s usages for future missions. NASA said that the toilet has been designed especially for exploration. It is based on previous spaceflight toilet design. The design optimizes mass volume and power consumption. These are the two very important factors that are taken into consideration while designing a spacecraft.
The advanced toilet measures 28 inches in height. It has an automatic starting system. The current system on the ISS has an on and off button. The new toilet includes a urine funnel. Its seat has been improved. It has been created to accommodate the female crew. The toilet also has a 3D-printed titanium dual-fan separator. It was developed by Collins Aerospace. It is used to create strong airflow. This is useful in pulling urine and waste into the toilet. Besides, its pretreat system has also been improved significantly. The system collects astronauts’ urine. The urine is then processed to reclaim water for other works. The new toilet will be tested for the next three years before arriving on a conclusion about its usages in other missions.