For as long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated with space and space travel. For almost as long, I’ve wondered how in the hell they poop up there, and more importantly, where in the hell does it go? Then there’s the whole “do astronauts have sex in space?” and if so, how does that work? Luckily for us, we have a little insight into that, thanks to an interview astronaut Mike Massimino did with some of the guys from Gizmodo.
Ryan F. Mandelbaum and Rae Paoletta had a chance to pick the brain of the space traveler, who has been on two space missions and has probably seen his fair share of things that are out of this world.
When asked if sex would be dangerous in space, Massimino responded by saying this:
“There are more dangerous things you can do in space than that,” he then chimed in on whether conception of a child would even be possible.
“If you’re looking for sex not to procreate but just to experience it, that’s one thing, but how would a fetus develop in zero gravity?” he said. “It probably wouldn’t go very well.”
Massimino then answered the question I’ve been eager to learn about since I was a child: How do you poop and where does it go?
“The poop is compacted and brought to Earth. On the space station, you poop into a can with a plastic liner, then tie up the bag, push it to the bottom and put a clean bag in for then next guy. When the toilet can gets filled up you take the seat off of it and cap it. It’s like a big metal container more or less. Then you put it into a resupply vehicle. Some of the resupply vehicles that come up with supplies get emptied out and garbage goes in there including the cans of poop. (The resupply vehicle) deploys the hatch and (the poop) burns up on reentry.”
It’s great finally getting some of the answers I’ve been waiting nearly my entire life for. Thankfully, Massimino was such a good sport during this interview, or I might have never found out.