Astronauts could stop burning underwear in Nasa plans to make first space detergent – NNN – No New News? – 11/27/20
Astronauts could stop burning their underwear every three days in space in a move that could revolutionise washing on Earth.
Nasa, the American space agency, has signed an agreement with consumer goods firm Procter and Gamble to develop the first laundry detergent for washing clothes in space, according to a report in the New Scientist.
No washing machine has been developed for use in zero-gravity and currently astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) wear their clothes for “as long as it is tolerable to the crew based on smell and crustiness”, according to a Nasa report from 2013.- ADVERTISEMENT -https://s.yimg.com/rq/darla/4-6-0/html/r-sf-flx.html
This is typically three days for underwear and a week or two for other items. After this point they are either returned to Earth to be scrapped or ejected into space to burn up in the atmosphere.
The Space Agreement Act, which was signed in August, will see the firm develop systems for cleaning clothes on the station which will reportedly use little-to-no water and could even harness the vacuum of space.
The Agreement states that it will “provide additional benefits to humanity”, suggesting that the “low-toxicity” detergents or reduced water usage could have applications on our planet.
The New Scientist quoted Bergita Ganse, a space expert at Manchester Metropolitan University, as saying that the energy and water used by washing machines would cause “big issues” on the ISS.
She added: “It would also have to be isolated from the rest of the ISS to avoid vibration problems.”
A Nasa spokesman told the magazine: “We are conducting studies on what a laundry strategy would look like in space, starting with a base on the moon or Mars, where we would benefit from a partial gravity environment.”Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commentinghttps://s.yimg.com/rq/darla/4-6-0/html/r-sf.html
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