0

Astronauts Prepare To Receive Cosmetics And A New Toilet : NPR

Posted on

Northrup Grumman’s Antares rocket lifts off from the NASA Wallops test flight facility in Virginia on Oct. 2. The rocket was scheduled to deliver supplies to the International Space Station.

Thom Baur/Northrup Grumman /AP


hide caption

toggle caption

Thom Baur/Northrup Grumman /AP

Northrup Grumman’s Antares rocket lifts off from the NASA Wallops test flight facility in Virginia on Oct. 2. The rocket was scheduled to deliver supplies to the International Space Station.

Thom Baur/Northrup Grumman /AP

Hygiene and self care are vital — even in zero gravity. Which is why astronauts on the International Space Station are preparing for a fun delivery: a skincare serum from the cosmetics maker Estée Lauder, as well as a new and improved toilet.

Astronauts won’t actually be using the brand’s Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Multi-Recovery Complex, says Robyn Gatens, the acting director of the International Space Station. Instead, the plan is for them to take photos and video in space of the $105 per bottle serum that the company will then be able to use for advertisements across its social media channels. According to ABC News, it will cost Estée Lauder $17,500 per hour.

Estée Lauder will auction off at least one of the 10 bottles they’re flying into space for charity, Gatens said in an interview with NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday.

Even if the astronauts wanted to record themselves using the product — a la the Get Ready With Me videos that many an influencer has posted to YouTube to show off their beauty routines — they wouldn’t be able to. As government employees, they’re restricted from participating in sponsoring products.

That doesn’t mean they’re strangers to commercial and marketing activities — something NASA has set aside 90 hours of crew time for. In 2019, for example, DoubleTree by Hilton sent their

0

ISS Astronauts Take Delivery of a Brand New Space Toilet

Posted on

The International Space Station received its latest delivery of food, tools, and experiments on Monday. It also included a brand new space toilet.

The cargo arrived on the Cygnus spacecraft after launching the previous day aboard Northrop Grumman’s Antares rocket.

NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy and Russian cosmonaut Ivan Vagner used the space station’s robotic arm to assist in the docking procedure 261 miles (420 km) above the South Pacific Ocean, with the procedure finishing at around 8 a.m. ET.

Cygnus, which is also called SS Kalpana Chawla after the first astronaut of Indian origin launched to space but who sadly died in the 2003 Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, will stay docked at the ISS for the next three months.

Cassidy, Vagner, and the third space station inhabitant, Russian cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin, wasted no time in unloading Cygnus, with Cassidy tweeting his delight at receiving some fresh edibles from the team back on Earth.

“The best thing about a cargo ship arriving is getting some fresh food,” Cassidy wrote a post that included several photos of what appeared to be apples and oranges.

With today’s food becoming tomorrow’s flushable waste, attention will inevitably turn to the brand new toilet that also arrived as part of the cargo. The so-called Universal Waste Management System (UWMS) was designed in response to feedback from astronauts, and so should provide a more comfortable experience when nature calls.

It’s smaller and lighter than previous designs, and features improved integration with other components of the station’s water system that will help recycle more urine for astronauts to drink — though only after it’s been properly filtered and processed, of course.

In microgravity

0

Cargo Spacecraft Carrying New Toilet to ISS Finally Launches

Posted on

After several scrubbed attempts, a Northrop Grumman Antares rocket has taken off from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Virginia, launching an uncrewed Cygnus cargo spacecraft bound for the International Space Station (ISS). The Cygnus spacecraft is carrying a total of 8,000 pounds of crew supplies and science experiments for the ISS.

The mission had been expected to originally launch on Tuesday, September 29, but this had to be pushed back due to unfavorable weather conditions. The new launch date was set for Thursday, October 1, and the rocket was fueled and ready to go but was then scrubbed again after an issue with ground support equipment. The launch was pushed back once more to late on Friday, October 2, and this time the launch went ahead as planned at 9:16 p.m. ET.

A Northrop Grumman Antares rocket launches to the International Space Station on Oct. 2, 2020, from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, Virginia. The rocket is carrying a Cygnus spacecraft with 8,000 pounds of supplies and experiments.
A Northrop Grumman Antares rocket launches to the International Space Station on Oct. 2, 2020, from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, Virginia. The rocket is carrying a Cygnus spacecraft with 8,000 pounds of supplies and experiments. NASA Wallops/Patrick Black

The Antares rocket made it safely into orbit and the Cygnus spacecraft deployed its solar array successfully. The craft is now traveling toward the space station, where it is expected to arrive at 5:20 a.m. ET on Monday, October 5. It will be captured using the station’s robotic arm, controlled by NASA astronaut and Expedition 63 commander Chris Cassidy, from where it will be installed onto the station’s Unity module.

Included on the Cygnus are a new crop of radishes to be grown in the microgravity of the space station in order to learn more about how plants grow in space and to provide more nutritious and fresh food for astronauts in the future, an investigation into drugs used to treat leukemia which could be made

0

New space toilet reaches the final frontier

Posted on

A robotic Cygnus spacecraft successfully blasted off from Virginia late Friday (Oct. 2) carrying nearly 4 tons of gear, including a new space toilet, to the International Space Station. 

A Northrop Grumman Antares rocket lit up the night sky alongside a nearly full moon at 9:16 p.m. EDT (0116 GMT on Oct. 3) as it launched the Cygnus NG-14 mission to the space station from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Virginia. 

The craft is hauling 7,624 lbs. (3,458 kilograms) of cargo that includes scientific equipment, an experimental space toilet, food, hardware and other supplies for the Expedition 63/64 astronauts living and working on the space station. 

The launch came after a series of delays due to weather this week and less than 24 hours after a launch abort late Thursday (Oct. 1) due to a ground support equipment issue.

Related: See amazing launch photos of Antares and Cygnus NG-13!

A Northrop Grumman Antares rocket carrying the Cygnus NG-14 cargo ship launches toward the International Space Station from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Virginia on Oct. 2, 2020. (Image credit: NASA TV)

Launching science to space

Along with crew supplies and hardware, the launch today sent a number of exciting scientific investigations and equipment to the space station. One of the most anticipated items onboard is a new space toilet, formally known as the Universal Waste Management System. The astronauts on the space station will test the $23 million commode for future use on station and by future crews on missions to the moon. 

The Cygnus is carrying a number of other investigations as well. For example, the radish-growing experiment Plant Habitat-02 aims to expand our knowledge of growing plants and food in space. With this experiment, researchers will test how

0

NASA launches new $23 million space toilet to ISS. It should arrive Monday

Posted on

spacetoilet1

This unusual-looking space toilet will be tested by the astronauts on ISS.


NASA

A recently designed space toilet that better accommodates women is headed to the International Space Station. The new loo was packed inside a cargo ship that successfully blasted off Friday evening at 6:16 p.m. PT from  NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Virginia. The astronauts will give the toilet a test run for the next few months.

Weighing almost 100 pounds (45 kilograms) and measuring 28 inches (71 centimeters) tall, the new toilet is about half as big as the two Russian-built toilets already in use at the ISS. This new toilet is 65% smaller and almost half as light than current ISS toilets in use.

The new, smaller toilet will be able to fit into the NASA Orion capsules, which will travel to the moon in future missions.

As previously reported, the new toilet is designed with a tilted seat, new shape and redesigned funnels for urination.

spacetoilet2

Here’s a closer look at the new space toilet that will be used on the ISS.


NASA

The microgravity toilets used on the ISS use suction to keep waste from escaping during a potty break in space, but the new system has a new shape to better fit female anatomy. The toilet is also better suited to capture more waste than before. 

“Cleaning up a mess is a big deal. We don’t want any misses or escapes,” Johnson Space Center project manager Melissa McKinley told The Guardian. “Let’s just say everything floats in weightlessness.”

The new toilet system also has a lower mass than prior systems, is simpler to use, provides increased crew comfort and

1 2