Ever wondered what a 19 million dollar toilet looks like?
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to launch a rocket in space? Of course we’ve all seen Apollo 13 so we know what an actual space launch looks like, but what about when you really need to go to the loo when you’re orbiting the earth?
The international space station travels in orbit around the earth at a speed of roughly 17,150 miles an hour. (Or 7.66 km/s) This means that if you start over England then by the time you’re finished wiping your arse you’ll likely be flying over France. And if you’re anything like me and you enjoy taking your time when you go to the toilet, checking your emails and catching up on Facebook; then there is a fair chance that you’ll bring new depth and meaning to the term: ‘Same shit, different day’.
Though what I can’t quite get my head around is the idea of going to the toilet in zero gravity; it sounds all too risky to me. Fortunately for our brave astronauts the Russian’s built a 19 million dollar toilet for the international space station in 2008 making taking care of business in space that little bit easier.
This would be one of the most expensive toilets in the world if not for the fact that it were flying around in space. Now if you ask me I’d say that it looks more like an Alien torture apparatus than a toilet; and for 19 million dollars you’d have thought that they would have jazzed it up a little as well but who am I to judge?
This astro-loo comes fitted with some leg braces to keep you conveniently and properly position, with a couple of handles either side to aid in preventing you from floating away mid-poo. It’s not the most sophisticated looking toilet I’ve ever seen, though it is almost certainly one of the most practical – and when in position there is even a little tube that sits between your legs for you to talk into if you get lonely.
Going to the loo is certainly something that we often take for granted. We have readily available toilets all around us with comfortable clean seats and soft, kind tissue paper with cute little puppies all over it, but what of the struggles of those brave souls aboard the international space station?
What happens after a heavy night on the beer and a regretful kebab? There have been times where simply pulling my trousers down had been cutting it fine already without having to climb out of a space suit and strap my legs in.
That’s one small trump for man, one giant turd for mankind.