NASA: Design a Toilet for Moon Landers to Win $35,000!

Published June 28th, 2020 - 09:30 GMT
NASA: Design a toilet for moon Landers to Win $35,000!
The toilet would need to be able to accommodate both genders, coinciding with NASA's plan to include the first-ever female astronaut to land on the lunar surface. (Shutterstock)
Highlights
The new toilet is part of NASA's preparations for restarting moon landing operations by 2024.
With plans to take astronauts back to the lunar surface by 2024, NASA have announced a new contest, giving three aspiring inventors prize money totaling $35,000 split between the first prize of $20,000 a second prize of $10,000 and a third of $5,000 if they can design a toilet for use on the moon, CNN reported.

The toilet would need to work in the Artemis lunar lander. As such, the toilet must be able to function in zero-g, which are the microgravity conditions of space, and on the moon, which has one sixth the gravity of Earth, according to the NASA guidelines.
 

In addition, the toilet would need to be able to accommodate both genders, coinciding with NASA's plan to include the first-ever female astronaut to land on the lunar surface. And due to the nature of the mission, it should be able to support two astronauts for 14 days.

Also of priority is the ability to keep the lander free of odors and other contaminants, as well as be able to conserve water. The guidelines recommend the toilet be easy to clean and maintain, have a turnaround time between uses of no more than five minutes and use under 70 watts of power. Due to being in space, the toilet must weigh under 33 pounds when adjusted for Earth's gravity and have a total volume under .12 cubic meters.

The guidelines add that a simple and straightforward design is preferred.

"Bonus points will be awarded to designs that can capture vomit without requiring the crew member to put his/her head in the toilet," the guidelines stated, according to CNN.

Submissions are due no later than August 17, and winners will be announced in September and October.


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