Ever wonder how astronauts do their “GI Business” in space?


In 1969, US astronaut Russell Schweickart peed into a plastic receptacle while on the Apollo 9 mission.

The condom-like vessel allowed Schweickart – and the other crew members – to relieve themselves in space.

But they often made a big mess when they removed the receptacle – painfully, they learnt that size does actually matter. The astronauts would reach for the largest of the three receptacles, when perhaps a smaller one was sufficient.

“You only make that mistake once,” Schweickart said after his return.

Since then, going to the toilet in space has become easier.

Modern space toilets even allow astronauts a brief, intimate timeout. But personal hygiene remains one of the greatest challenges onboard the International Space Station (ISS).

German astronaut Reinhold Ewald, who stayed at the space station MIR, said he was often pushed to the edge of his own limits. “It’s not for the highly sensitive,” he said.

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