Astronauts and cosmonauts are generally chosen based on a balanced blend of desirable traits: mental acuity and psychological stability (it's isolated up there), physical fitness, physiological durability, willingness to be strapped to a massive controlled explosion and hurled into an environment that is extremely hostile toward life, etc. But it's no secret: Right Stuff or no Right Stuff, astronauts stink. There's simply no good way to stay clean in space.
After well more than a decade in orbit, NASA is finally trying to change that. The agency has commissioned Oregon-based UMPQUA to build a prototype low-power, low-water washing machine that would allow ISS residents to do their laundry. This would probably beat the usual protocol, which mandates that astronauts wear the same undergarments until they can't stand it and then pack them into a used Progress capsule to be incinerated in the atmosphere (though that's probably a legitimate fate for underwear that's been worn to the olfactory breaking point).
The washing machine isn't intended to be limited to the ISS however. NASA's contract asks for a system suitable for "any long-term space mission where resupply logistics preclude routine delivery of fresh crew clothing and removal of disposable clothing articles." Which means someday, many years from now, someone may just do the first load of whites on the Moon.
But in zero gravity, liquid water is still problematic (especially with all the sensitive electronic equipment and instruments aboard the ISS). The machine proposed by UMPQUA Resarch would use a mix of vapor, air, and microwave rays to clean clothing. The company says achieves a greater softness than previously-tried low-water vacuum pressing systems, and that it could also be useful closer to home at isolated locales or aboard maritime vessels.
Cool. Now they won't need women in space anymore.
Oh, I can think of a reason for women in space! Uhawhaw Hawhaw!
Laser datalinks for lightning speed internet, 200 watt subwoofers, blue-ray players, and we got some serious quality of living. You can blast Pushin' It by Rick Ross while you run on the C.O.L.B.E.R.T.
we need women in space just in case the earth was suddenly destroyed we would need back up humans to multiply like bunnies which is possible.
The people of the world only divide into two kinds, One sort with brains who hold no religion, The other with religion and no brain.
- Abu-al-Ala al-Marri
Hahaha for comments above. I doubt i'd go up there if I would be stinky but viola problem solved lol!
Oh, c'mon. Women will always be welcome in space. Who else is going to make the sandwiches and provide, uh, "stress relief"? Robots? Yeah, riiiight.
If they don't have women up there how will they complete "space docking"? Wink wink...... Google it....
i though we werent going up to the station anymore now that Obama cancelled the shuttle missions?
I believe the proper term is 'station soft dock.' You don't wanna just ram your module up in there. You gotta take your time and line up right so you can find your target. Then comes the ultimate score. ;)
If you wanna get it straight, the Bush Administration killed the Shuttle Program in 2003 after the Columbia disaster.
There was a perfectly functional shower present on Skylab back in the 1970s.
NASA reinventing the wheel because it's too stupid to check it's own archives for pre-existing solutions? PopSci spreading nonsense because they're too lazy to check the facts? Check, check, and double check.
Dumb article is dumb - and contains almost no information on the machine it's supposed to be about.
@ANTIcarrot - It a washing machine, not a shower. And believe me NASA knows about the Skylab shower.