NASA wants you to help put a toilet on the moon, so it is offering $35,000 in prizes to design a toilet that can be used on the moon.
The space agency has set an ambitious goal of sending astronauts to the moon by 2024, and the crew will obviously have to go to the bathroom during the mission.
NASA can tailor the design of the toilet to its Artemis lunar lander, so you’ll need to work on both the microgravity of space, or “zero-g”, and the moon, where gravity is about one-sixth of what we feel on Earth, according to the design guidelines published by NASA and HeroX, which allows anyone to create challenges to solve a problem facing the world.
The mission will include the first female astronaut to travel to the moon, so the baths must be able to accommodate both men and women.
Toilet designs must also conserve water and “help maintain a pristine environment within the lander that is free of odors and other contaminants.”
The Lunar Loo Challenge, a competition to see which would be the best toilet for the project, organized by HeroX for NASA. It’s not just about getting a curious and futuristic design; NASA engineering has been very precise with the specifications it must have.
For example, it should not weigh more than 15 kg (on Earth), and despite that, be able to collect up to one liter of urine for each use, with an average of six uses per day for each group of astronauts. The case of an astronaut having diarrhea is also taken into account, in addition to the menstruation of female astronauts who are expected to make history.
“Bonus points will be awarded to designs that can capture vomit without requiring the crew member to put his head down the toilet,” according to the guidelines.
It should be able to support a crew of two astronauts for 14 days and allow the collected waste to be transferred for storage or disposal outside the vehicle.
The toilet should be easy to clean and maintain and should have a response time of five minutes or less between uses. You also need to use less than 70 watts of power and make less noise than an average bathroom fan.
Space will also be a problem, so the toilet must weigh less than 33 pounds on Earth and be less than .12 cubic meters in volume.
A toilet onboard the International Space Station is the size of a small closet.
The jackpot is $20,000 and the second and third place winners will receive $10,000 and $5,000. The deadline to submit the designs is August 17 and the winners will be announced in October.