Astronaut Reveals Bizarre Equipment Used in International Space Station’s Toilet

Ever wonder how astronauts do their business in zero gravity?

For the first time, astronauts at the European Space Agency (ESA) gave a “Toilet Tour” giving us a glimpse on how they pee or do a number two in space.

Described by ESA as “the most unglamorous but often asked-about part of living on the International Space Station”, the toilet area contains bizarre gadgets and gizmos that astronauts use when doing their business.

In the video, astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti demonstrated how to use a strange “sucker device” which collects their urine and keeps it from floating in space.

Meanwhile, spacemen need to sit on top of a “throne” fitted with a vacuum sucker when doing number two. The device safely secures the human waste in a bag to avoid any space disaster.

Take a “Toilet Tour” inside the International Space Station.

Turning Astronaut’s Urine into Fuel

While many of us are familiar that an astronaut’s urine can be treated to become potable water, only a few know that their pee can be recycled and transformed into fuel.

Scientists Eduardo Nicolau and Carlos R. Cabrera of the University of Puerto Rico employed a new approach to make use of the waste component filtered from the urine.

Using a process called forward osmosis, urea is collected from the urine while its contaminants are filtered. The collected urea is then efficiently converted to ammonia using the Urea Bioreactor Electrochemical system (UBE). The ammonia is then turned into energy with its fuel cell.

Although the system was primarily designed for space missions, scientists said it can be used in any wastewater treatment systems.

“The results showed that the UBE system could be used in any wastewater treatment systems containing urea and/or ammonia,” they concluded.

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