Space Poop Challenge

the challenge
Competition to source a system that routes and collects human waste away from the body, hands-free, for fully suited astronauts. Read Overview...
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20123 followers
5912 shares
stage
Judging
Total Prize Amount
$30,000
Sponsored by

The Problem

In space, no one can hear you flush. This is because in space, there are no toilets. While you may go about your life mostly unaffected by this, it is more of a challenge for our brave astronauts in their space suits. 

After all: when you gotta go, you gotta go. And sometimes you gotta go in a total vacuum.


What You Can Do To Cause A Breakthrough

  • Read the complete challenge guidelines to see the rules and requirements for entry into the challenge.
  • “Accept Challenge” by clicking the button above to compete in the challenge. 
  • Follow the challenge above to be notified of any status updates to the challenge.
  • Share this challenge on social media using the icons above. Show your friends, your family, or anyone you know who has a passion for discovery.
  • Start a conversation in our Forum to join the conversation, ask questions or connect with other innovators.

 

Background

Current space suits are worn for launch and entry activities and in-space activities to protect the crew from any unforeseen circumstances that the space environment can cause. A crew member could find themselves in this suit for up to 10 hours at a time nominally for launch or landing, or up to 6 days if something catastrophic happens while in space.

The old standby solution consisted of diapers, in case astronauts needed to relieve themselves. However, the diaper is only a very temporary solution, and doesn’t provide a healthy/protective option longer than one day.

 

What a Breakthrough Looks Like

What's needed is a system inside a space suit that collects human waste for up to 144 hours and routes it away from the body, without the use of hands. The system has to operate in the conditions of space - where solids, fluids, and gases float around in microgravity (what most of us think of as "zero gravity") and don't necessarily mix or act the way they would on earth. This system will help keep astronauts alive and healthy over 6 days, or 144 hrs.

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TreePerson replied a new topic
Jan. 18, 2017, 10:05 a.m. PST
Winner - Late submission - Sugar
Cmdr Singlemalt posted tweet
Jan. 18, 2017, 6:19 a.m. PST
@CMDR_F99 @PixlBandits *splat* #spacePoop
Jason Monaco replied a new topic
Jan. 18, 2017, 1:24 a.m. PST
Winner - Late submission - Sugar
Jason Monaco replied a new topic
Jan. 18, 2017, 1:14 a.m. PST
Winner - Late submission - Sugar
Pierront Phil created a new topic
Jan. 17, 2017, 10:22 p.m. PST
trop court pour une telle réflextion
TreePerson created a new topic
Jan. 16, 2017, 8:17 a.m. PST
A month more. How are you doing?
Carmine F replied a new topic
Jan. 13, 2017, 2:53 a.m. PST
May I ask, where on earth are you from?
mixlamalice posted tweet
Jan. 13, 2017, 2:50 a.m. PST
@DevilleSy ben tu crois qu'ils chient comment dans l'espace? Du coup la Nasa a lancé le space poop challenge https://t.co/zynBqvcJm9
Alex Haussmann created a new topic
Jan. 12, 2017, 5:23 p.m. PST
they moved the deadline back 1/2 of a month
news: Inside the Space Suit of the Future
Jan. 12, 2017, 12:08 p.m. PST