The Scoop on Space Poop: How Astronauts Go Potty

September 3, 2013 5:02 PM

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The Scoop on Space Poop: How Astronauts Go Potty

On May 5, 1961, NASA astronaut Alan Shepard was locked into his capsule Freedom 7, ready to become the first American and second person ever in space. But before his 15-minute historic flight, Shepard would sit through five hours of delays — and he really had to go to the bathroom.

NASA officials weren't prepared for this situation. They thought the mission would be short enough to avoid it, and letting Alan Shepard urinate in his shiny silver spacesuit was not something they were ready to do; the astronaut was wired with medical sensors that might get wrecked if wet. But even...

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