When you gotta go, you gotta go! But what if you’re in space, stuck in a spacesuit for hours on end, even days? The current solution is the good ol’ diaper, but NASA is looking for something better, and is offering a prize of up to $30,000 to whoever comes up with the best idea.
Astronauts have access to some of the world’s most advanced technologies, but when it comes to human waste management, they rely on a diaper. NASA spacecrafts do feature more advanced waste systems, but they can only be used when the astronauts aren’t wearing their space suits. So during launches, landings, or in case of emergencies, they have to put on an uncomfortable space diaper. But that is only a temporary solution, as keeping the waste so close to the skin for longer than a few hours can lead to infection, and even sepsis. NASA’s scientists have apparently been unable to come up with a solution to this problem, and the agency is now looking to the rest of the world for suggestions. The newly launched Space Poop Challenge give anyone the chance to submit their ideas and designs for an alternative to the space diaper until December 20, for the chance to win up to $30,000.