We were invited to a special ceremony at the Claremore Museum of History to see a special display in honor of Stuart Roosa. That led to a lot of discussion about astronauts and space and the age-old question….how does one poop in space?
A simple Google search led us to the answer.
Alan Shepard was the first astronaut that made the powers-that-be realize that some sort of system needed to be in place for, well, movements. In 1961, Shepard was set to take off on the Freedom 7 mission that was supposed to last 15 minutes. It was assumed that he could “hold it” for that long. What they forgot was that he would be stuck for seven hours before the mission. It’s well-documented now that Shepard wet himself, and was stuck there until it dried. After that, astronauts were given bags to use, and they could be easily tossed off the side of the aircraft. But what about #2?
According to Popular Science, the solution was: The fecal containment system, properly called a defecation device, was a rudimentary solution to this need. It was a cylindrical bag about a foot long with a 1.5-inch opening on the end covered in an adhesive.
So there’s a bag, with adhesive on it. To make matters even worse, the astronaut needing to go would have to scoot away from his comrades (in a contraption about the size of the front seat of a car), strip naked, and stick the bag to his bottom. Talk about humiliating.
But it answers the question! To read the full article in Popular Science, click HERE!
Also, go to the Claremore Museum of History, open Saturdays from 11a – 3p. They’ve got gorgeous displays, and the Stuart Roosa exhibit, featuring items that accompanied him to space on the Apollo 14 mission, will be unveiled on March 5.