New Spacesuit from NASA in Development

The new spacesuit in development from NASA incorporates a part of history. The new suits are projected to have a built-in toilet. This feature was a part of past space suits in the 1970’s. The suit would eliminate the need to change clothes for a maximum of six days. This may not seem like fun on Earth, however, space missions need to be extremely efficient with everything. The suits have been given a big name, the Orion Crew Survival Systems Suits (OCSSS). They are named after the next spacecraft planned for launch.

There is a toilet on the shuttle, however, in an emergency situation it may be inaccessible. One such case would be a depressurizing situation. Astronauts would have to keep their spacesuits on throughout the duration of the emergency, or they would not be able to breathe. Astronauts normally only use flight suits for takeoff and entry times. The other main suit is the extravehicular mobility unit that is used in explorations outside of the shuttle. Maximum absorbency garments (MAG’s) are used in these, when necessary. These are basically adult diapers and are sufficient for the 10 hours or less that astronauts remain in their suits.

The toilet uses a vacuum system to pull fluids and fecal matter away from the body. A suit with this feature has yet to be designed. The Apollo time period consisted of a condom catheter for men and a collection bag. The women’s products were never put into place, as women astronauts came later. They used the diaper system. A bag for fecal matter is planned to also be attached to the suit in the Orion mission. A new design is still hoped for in the future that may be more comfortable and work well for both women and men.