Astronautical Hygiene - Hygiene in Space

Hygiene in Space

Issues arise when dealing with low gravity environments. On the International Space Station, there are no showers, and astronauts instead take short sponge baths, with one cloth used to wash, and another used to rinse. Since surface tension causes water and soap bubbles to adhere to the skin, very little water is needed. Special non-rinsing soap is used, as well as special non-rinsing shampoos. Since a flush toilet would not work in low gravity environments, a special toilet was designed, that has suction capability. While the design is nearly the same, the concept uses the flow of air, rather than water. In the case of the space shuttle, waste water is vented overboard into space, and solid waste is compressed, and removed from the storage area once the shuttle returns to earth. The current toilet model was first flown on STS-54 in 1993, and features an unlimited storage capacity, compared to only 14 day capacity of the original shuttle toilets, and the new model has an odor-free environment.

Read more about this topic:  Astronautical Hygiene

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