NASA is looking for a few good men and women to solve an upcoming problem. Astronauts will soon be venturing outward beyond Earth orbit. If the spacecraft cabin should depressurize then they’ll have to put on their spacesuits and may have to keep them on for up to six days. During that time something will have to handle the resulting urine, fecal, and menstrual waste, all without the astronauts use of their hands. And that’s where you come in.
NASA is having a space poop challenge. The current system of an adult diaper won’t last six days. Your job, should you choose to accept it, is to design a system that will move the waste away from the skin where it can cause infection. Continue reading for the rather unique requirements.
The suit is the Modified Advanced Crew Escape Suit (MACES). You can have up to 28 V and under 100 mA provided inside or outside the suit. The inside is filled with oxygen at 4.3 PSID. To make matters worse, the oxygen enters and leaves the suit through waist level connectors where mesh prevents particles from getting into the connectors. Any matter blocking that mesh could block the air flow. Also, it’ll have to operate both in zero gravity (see the video below for a reminder of that weirdness) and during the 4 to 5 Gs of re-entry to Earth.
The prize is $30,000 and the submission deadline is December 20th. If you’re serious about entering then you may want to review NASA’s workmanship standards before you start. In any case, head for your thinking seat and do some designing. Or you could just think out loud in the comments.
[Header image: Astronaut Edward White during first EVA performed during Gemini 4 flight, Source NASA]
[via Popular Science]