Quirks & Quarks

Somebody won NASA's spacesuit toilet contest

It involves tubes, an airlock, and nature's call.
Dr. Thatcher Cardon's winning NASA's Space Poop Challenge design. (Dr. Thatcher Cardon)
Listen6:55

When Air Force flight surgeon and family physician Dr. Thatcher Cardon saw the NASA Poop Challenge come up in his Facebook feed, he wondered if he could make what NASA was looking for.  

A close-up view of the winning design. (Dr. Thatcher Cardon)

"I like to tinker with stuff. I spent a few minutes thinking about it. I thought I think I can do this." The idea came together pretty quickly for him one night after he lay down, closed his eyes and focused on the problem. 

A couple of months later and ta-da! Dr. Cardon won the grand prize of $15,000. 

This system he devised is a proof of concept. Dr. Cardon hasn't actually tested it yet.

Dr. Thatcher Cardon demonstrates his winning NASA's Space Poop Challenge design 1:18
Dr. Thatcher Cardon demonstrates his hygiene wand, which was part of his winning NASA's Space Poop Challenge design 1:01
 

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