The International Space Station is expecting a special delivery in 2020: A new toilet
The International Space Station (ISS) plans to receive a new toilet later this year to replace the current toilet in the US side of the space station, according to NASA.
The new toilet, named the Universal Waste Management System (UWMS), will be sent to the ISS and remain on the space station until the end of the ISS’s lifecycle. NASA hopes that the toilet will stand up to the challenge and can thereby be used on other space projects. It is currently slated to fly on NASA’s first crewed mission around the moon in 2023 on the Orion spacecraft, the Artemis 2.
“The toilet system has a lower mass and volume than prior systems, is simpler to use, provides increased crew comfort and performance,” NASA said in a report Monday.
The smaller size of the toilet makes it ideal for future NASA missions with smaller space habitats than the ISS, the report said, creating one, universal toilet will allow the space agency to cut down on costs in the future.
The toilet will also support an increase in the crew size of the ISS, “once US commercial crew vehicles are operational.”
Last month, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carried two US astronauts to the ISS, the first time a private company has flown a crewed flight into space.
The crew capsule successfully docked with the space station on May 31, bringing astronauts Bob Behnkhen and Doug Hurley to the ISS. Both astronauts are veterans of NASA’s Space Shuttle program, which last flew in 2011.