If you think $1,300 is a lot to pay for Kohler's new C3-200 toilet seat, how about $19 million for a toilet that doesn't even have a heated seat or remote control? That's what NASA has agreed to shell out for a space potty on the International Space Station.
The new toilet is similar to one already in use in the station's Russian-built Zvezda Service Module. A second toilet is needed because NASA and its international partners plan to double the size of the station crew from three to six in 2009.
NASA is buying the toilet from the Russian aerospace company S.P. Korolev Rocket and Space Public Corporation, also known as RSC Energia. NASA claims it is cheaper to buy a toilet from Russia than to build its own.
What makes the toilet so expensive? A NASA spokeswoman claims it's like a miniature municipal water-treatment system. Unlike the NASA toilet aboard the space shuttle, the Russian model recycles urine into drinking water. The urine enters the toilet tank through a funnel attached to a hose.
The toilet is not the only item that NASA is buying from the Russians. The space agency will spend an additional $27 million for other equipment, including a pump used to conserve air when the crew exits through the airlock for a spacewalk. The contract also covers engineering support.
The existing toilet in the Russian section of the space station has broken down several times, so astronauts will be happy to have a backup on the American side. Until then, the crew has to use the toilet in the docked Soyuz capsule for bathroom emergencies. —Dawn Stover
Why dint they use a simple UV electronic waterfree urinal on the Space Station from LiquidBreaker in Carlsbad CA. They manufacture "The Green Cartridge" No health issues, no liquid chemical sealant, no odor, self cleaning, very little maintenance and does not pollute the environment.
OMG....First I don't think to be smarter than the team of engineers who came up with that of course but please....could someone try to explain me HOW can be possible to spend $ 19 million for a toilette which recycle urine ??? Yes, ok, I understand in space all the system could be a little tricky to be perfectly engineered but 19 million dollars looks way out of bound. I mean what kind of components did they use? How complicate is that???
The question should be,why use toilets at all? Afterall they all have diapers on anyway..why not make a bio suit, that would recycle the waste into drinkable water the feces, would be stored in a containment pouch, where microbes would break it down to a mythane/ hydrogen gas, Not to different then a mobile sewage treatment plant. excess energy would be used or recycled back into the ship,,, just a thought ,, i hate to see shit get thrown away!! ha ha
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