It is clear that the first place in importance is breath. In the USSR, astronauts immediately followed the path of air breathing. This, of course, complicated and weighed the construction of spacecraft (SC), but life showed the correctness of the chosen solution.
Americans used oxygen breathing at atmospheric pressure 1 / 3. For 60-s, this technology has nothing new: oxygen breathing was used by divers and pilots. But some undesirable factors came to light. For example, prolonged breathing with pure oxygen led to depression of the respiratory function. The fact is that the respiratory center reacts to the content of carbon dioxide in the blood, which in the atmosphere of pure oxygen is gradually washed out - if there is not enough of it, then you don’t need to breathe ...
The question of the multi-day stay of American astronauts in an atmosphere of pure oxygen has not been resolved to this day, because experimental data are required here. In any case, after the experiment with the Apollo-1, when the crew was burnt alive in an oxygen atmosphere, it became clear that this was a dead-end direction in astronautics. In the USSR, it was understood several years before the tragedy with Apollo-1, when a similar incident occurred at the Cosmonaut Training Center: March 23 1961 of the year, 19 days before the start of Yuri Gagarin, during an experiment with a man in an atmosphere of pure oxygen alive burned member of the first cosmonaut Valentin Bondarenko. Then we will return to this topic, because, according to NASA legend, American astronauts flew into space for 15 for years and breathed only oxygen.
The second most important topic is the removal of human excrement. In everyday life such juicy details are not discussed, but there are no trifles in space, and each requires careful analysis and technology for its solution.
So, for short-term flights, you can limit yourself to something like a diaper, but in long flights there is a need for special systems for receiving small and large needs. In the USSR, in advance, even before the flight of Y. Gagarin, a special unit was developed - the sanitary-sanitary device (ACS):
Initially, the design had to take into account the anthropological differences between men and women. Therefore, the automatic control system for the 3-daily flight of Tereshkova was different from the male one, and in general the first time the automatic control system was individualized and exactly followed the contours of the body, for which the astronauts 'fifth point' imprints, including the mentioned Tereshkov, were taken. Later unified automated control systems were developed:
And how were things with the Americans? After all, if you believe them, then Gemini-4 with two astronauts was in space for 4 days, Gemini-5 for a week, Gemini-7 for two weeks (!), Allegedly setting a record.
It can be presumed that Americans, who are scrupulous up to household amenities, have thought through such an important issue. It is known that American truck tractors and trailers have always been among the world leaders in terms of equipment and comfort - they not only had toilet cabins, but also showers, air conditioners, televisions, and the like, without which the life of an ordinary American is unthinkable. Believe it or not, in the 60s, NASA specialists did not even begin to resolve this issue! Allow me! - the average man will tell me, - the 6 Americans visited the Moon once, having made long flights there and back, so the toilet problem was certainly solved.
What does NASA say
First of all, it would be nice to get acquainted with the device of an outstanding American lunar spacesuit, which, after lunar missions, was immediately sent to the museum:
Clip - a fragment from the BBS film "Apollo 11 A Night to Remember", shot more than 40 years ago. There is a curious moment in it: James Bourke explains that urine is collected in a metal container located in the abdomen area. Where did he get it - he did not invent it himself! All information, as well as the spacesuit, extracted in NASA. But, as we can see, in matters of life support for astronauts at NASA, “the horse did not roll” - improvise on the go.
Refer to the NASA document - APOLLO OPERATIONS HANDBOOK. EXTRAVEHICULAR MOBILITY UNIT. The mentioned garbage bag is on the right (UCTA) and reminds of a string:
So looks mochesbornik in person:
Moreover, this copy is somewhat different from what is exhibited in the museum:
Exhibit of the National Museum of Aviation and Cosmonautics. Smithsonian Institution, USA.
The penis is inserted directly into the bath, but it is not known how tightness is ensured. Obviously, a stuck penis simultaneously serves as a plug.
There are no metal mop tanks in the spacesuit - the tube goes to the connector on the thigh:
Thus, the technology of collecting liquid waste does not look very well thought out and, obviously, suffered flaws that are traditional for NASA. The point is that in the missions "Merkuriyev" and "Gemini" the removal of liquid waste of astronauts by all means was accompanied by leaks. So, "for the first orbital flight on the" Mercury "in NASA was developed a simple urinal from a condom, tube and urine container":
Urine John Glenn. National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution, USA.
For longer flights, it was modernized, adding a hand pump to it, so that the astronaut could empty the overflowed urinal. but “the pump was not working well, the hoses were leaking, urine balls were flying in the cockpit. At least part of the short circuits in the last turns of the flight were arranged by the leaking cesspool system, seriously complicating the flight”.
In the Gemini ships, the urine collection system was improved in a rather curious way. The urinal has already become similar to thongs, as in Apollo:
In this case, during the emptying of the bladder, the astronaut had to reciprocate with his hand in order to activate the pump, made in the form of an accordion:
But the visionaries from NASA did not calm down on this, because in reality the procedure should be carried out together: one got rid of an excess of urine, and the second immediately pumped it, wielding an accordion. Probably, this exercise was dedicated to long and hard training. After all, as the astronauts themselves say, "the training process at NASA is subject to the principle of" no surprises. " However, the balls of the "surprises" continued to be pursued by the Gemini crews, since "the system often expelled urine instead of suction - the accordion was not a fan, one careless movement was enough to create excess pressure, not vacuum.". And only starting with the mission "Gemini-5", the spontaneous wandering of urine through the compartments of the ship was obeyed by NASA engineers: they began to throw it overboard into outer space and admire a cloud of sparkling crystals. But the annoying surprises still did not disappear completely, "as it happened with Jim Lovell during the flight to" Gemini-7 "", which burst urine bag. Lovell eloquently described that flight as "two weeks in the latrine".
Now for solid waste. James Bourke explained that the liquid component of feces is absorbed by a special absorbent material, hinting at diapers, which, in fact, put on himself. And then - you are adults, you can guess ...
NASA in the Apollo Operations Handbook ... writes: "It’s not a matter of course."
Translation: for waste management in unexpected (sic!) Cases, a “fecal retention system” is worn around the waist of a crew member, designed to collect and store solid waste.
As it turns out, the “fecal retention subsystem” is the usual panties with a slot for the genitals:
Therefore, it should be said directly that astronauts, according to a NASA document, celebrated the need for pants!
We study the device pantalon: "Fecal Containment Subsystem The FCS (fig. 2-23) consists of a pair of elastic underwear. It is a worm that has been worn under the scrotal area and it has been worn under it. It is expelled by the FCA system and it has been evaporated.
Translation: "The feces retention system includes dual elastic panties with an absorbent liner in the buttock area and a front incision for the genitals. Foamed rubber covers the outside of the thigh, placed on the scrotum and spinal sulcus. This system is dressed in a special astronaut underwear suit (Constant Wear Garment) :
which allows an unexpected defecation in the presence of pressure in the spacesuit. The “Fecal Retention System” collects and keeps feces from falling into the spacesuit. Moisture contained in the faeces is adsorbed by the liner and then - ATTENTION! - evaporates from the liner into the atmosphere of the spacesuit, from where it is removed through its ventilation system. The system has an approximate capacity of 1000 cm³ for solid waste "(highlighted by me).
Where to put feces from the pants and how to wash off after that? But on the technology of emptying drawers the fantasy of NASA figures was scanty and it has not yet been disclosed (obviously, it is kept behind seven seals under the “secret” stamp). Apparently, the astronauts, removing the spacesuit from a comrade, then with improvised means — spoons, forks, napkins, etc. — scooped up the contents of the trousers and put it in a “bucket” (under No. XXUMX in the far corner - “Fecal Canister”):
It is, of course, very small for adult men 3-s. It should be noted that the astronauts ate a variety of food, without denying themselves anything, some even recovered. Will it be enough for 10-12-day travel, provided that an adult gives off an average 200 of faeces per day? .. And if someone likes stale food or, even worse, they will poison everything at once - here and 5 buckets will be few. Therefore, we have every right to assume that they carried a significant amount of feces on themselves, embodying an ancient aphorism - omnia mea mecum porto ("all my burden with me"). Well, since the astronauts returned to Earth in the same space suits, then the feces collected in the "feces collection subsystem" returned with them.
In the event that the astronauts aboard the ship exposed and completely removed their spacesuit, NASA offered them a different, but no less delightful toilet service. Since there were no automated control systems on the Apollo and the preceding ships, the astronauts, unlike their Soviet colleagues, were supplied with special packages for dealing with great needs. Imagine and describe the procedure itself is very difficult because of its exoticism, so NASA took care of educating all interested in the details of the process, offering to admire this picture:
Astronaut Buzz Aldrin demonstrates how to use the package.
It should, however, clarify that in real life pants will be redundant and interfere with the process of defecation. In addition, in the picture the package is equipped with a hard plastic flange, which is not on the museum specimen:
Exhibit of the National Museum of Aviation and Cosmonautics. Smithsonian Institution, USA.
Apparently, a sample with a flange is one of the options for an individual use package adapted for the buttocks of a particular crew member. Two fingers stuck into the package is not accidental - there are carefully provided special fingertips, so as not to get dirty in the contents of the package. The procedure itself is described in NASA document in the following way: “The package napalechnik was used to position it on the anus. After bowel movement, the napkin were also used to separate the fecal mass from the anus and move it to the bottom of the bag. Then the bag was separated from the buttocks, and the anus was cleaned with napkins, which were disposed of into the bag. bactericidal fluid and sent it to the same bag with faeces, which was then sealed. Then it was necessary to “knead” the bag so that its contents were mixed. At the end of the procedure, the bag with feces was placed inside ü another package, and everything together was sent to a special compartment for waste storage "(in the CM scheme under No. XXUMX). For some reason, an important detail was omitted in the instructions: the bag had to be not only positioned, but also securely glued to the buttocks, for which its neck was provided with adhesive tape.
Reviews about this technology have been very impartial since the days of "Gemini": “The astronauts used fecal bags rarely enough and described them as“ nasty. ”It was difficult to glue the package properly, and going to the toilet and not getting dirty is almost impossible; besides, the packages did not save the spread of unpleasant odor throughout the small capsule.” If the astronauts rarely used the packages, hence the need to keep in the pants, for other options, NASA has not provided. The NASA document also stresses that “the process of collecting faeces requires considerable skill to prevent the leakage of feces from the bag and the subsequent contamination of the crew, their clothing and the cabin. Because of the difficulties, the process of defecation also took a long time. The Apollo Astronauts 7 "rated this time in 45 minutes".
How can this be imagined? Astronauts flew on the Gemini, came back, to put it mildly, dirty - something needs to be done! And NASA remains Olympic calm and does nothing; astronauts, in turn, amuse the public stories about "poop a bag in zero gravity." So, in the book "Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void" Mary Roach leads conversation recording fragment Astronauts of the Apollo 10 mission:
STAFFORD: Wow, and who did?
YANG: What did you do?
STAFFORD: Who did this? [laughs]
SERNAN: Where does this come from?
STAFFORD: Give me a napkin. Here shit flies.
YANG: It's not mine.
SERNAN: Yes, and not mine, it seems.
STAFFORD: And mine was more sticky than that. Yes, throw it away and everything.
YANG: Oh my god.
[Eight minutes later, discussing the discharge time of the wastewater.]
YANG: They said it can be done at any time?
SERNAN: They said on 135. They said that. Another damn poop. What's the matter with you guys? Give it to me.
Young / Stafford: [laughs]
STAFFORD: Did it just fly here?
STAFFORD: [laughs] Mine was thinner than that.
YANG: And mine. It seems to be from that bag.
SERNAN: [laughs] I do not know whose it is, so I will neither blame nor defend anyone. [laughs]
YANG: What is going on here after all?
In the same anecdotal way she discussed the toilet problems of the astronauts and the press: "According to the reports of the American periodicals of those years, there were cases when such a package was unstuck at an inopportune moment."
And just before the end of the Apollo missions NASA has released a report on the quality of life support systems for crews: “Although the system for collecting feces in Apollo missions was similar to that used on Gemini ships, many other concepts and designs were nevertheless investigated and tested. In all cases, the main goal was to prevent contamination of the crew by feces under weightless conditions. effective than the existing system, which turned out to be acceptable for all flights, was not found, although the crews expressed their hostility towards it. Now, other methods are being studied for future missions and experiments will be conducted. I have a future flight — especially a long one — a better method for collecting faeces should be developed. " In other words, the astronauts in the Gemini and Apollo missions were put in pants with the tricky name “feces retention subsystem” because the packages were used extremely rarely, and NASA reports that this “feces collection” method is effective and acceptable. To some extent you can agree with NASA, because the feces remained in the astronauts' pants, and did not fly away in the habitable space of the spacecraft, thus solving the main task. In fact, cheap and angry!
NASA fecal popcorn in the post-Apollonian period
As mentioned above, NASA has preoccupied with future long-term flights into space while the Apollo crews were in great need of their pants, and they disdain to use packages. The result of these concerns was the automated control system designed for the Space Shuttle (hereinafter simply referred to as the shuttle), which first went into space on the Columbia 12 shuttle in April of 1981. Thus, NASA began to use the ACS on spacecraft exactly 20 years after the start of manned space flight. NASA engineers tried to design their own original design: "First (American - auth.) space toilet bowls were very similar to the Waring blender spinning at 1200 revolutions per minute somewhere in 15, see below the known part of the human body. The device crushed excrement and other tissues — say, paper, and not the scrotum — and threw it all into a container. The machine produced a kind of papier-mâché. "
But instead of gratitude, the astronauts again began to complain and be capricious, because “problems arose when the container was placed in a cold and dry vacuum of space (it was necessary to sterilize the contents of the container). Here the mass was falling apart on“ papier ”and“ mache. ”When the next astronaut turned on the device, the blades of the blender began to grind small pieces of aspen nests of faeces, which remained on the walls of the container, and those already in the form of dust scattered around the cabin " (ibid.)
And again the feces fly on the spacecraft! This phenomenon even got the name "fecal popcorn", from which, oddly enough, astronauts had no time for jokes: "Astronauts of the current expedition of the shuttle began to use bags for the feces of the Apollo program. During the previous flight, clouds of faecal dust produced by new toilets caused astronauts to refuse food to reduce the frequency of use of this facility. Fecal dust was not just disgusting, but also caused to the “growth in the mouth of E.coli bacteria”, as had already happened before on board a submarine, when the room was overwhelmed by the evaporation of sewage " (ibid.)
The last remark from the NASA report is curious: there have been cases of the breeding of E. coli in the mouth of submarine crews and shuttles, but for some reason the crews of Mercury, Gemini and Apollo have passed this fate, although feces flew everywhere and soiled astronauts to greater joy of these.
On the ISS, NASA no longer felt the fate and trusted the toilet service to the Russian side - all the stationary sanitary facilities of the ISS are of Russian origin. Initially, the toilet was only in the Russian module "Dawn", and NASA 2007 ordered a toilet for the module "Tranquility": "The US National Aerospace Agency (NASA) ordered a toilet in Russia for the American part of the ISS for 19 million dollars." Thus, the history of the American automated control system counts exactly 30 years clouded by fecal popcorn.
How to understand all this?
Let us summarize the identified features related to NASA technologies that ensure the functioning of astronauts in space.
1. At the very beginning, tragic incidents were mentioned that took place in the USSR and the USA during experiments with a person's stay in an atmosphere of pure oxygen. In the USSR, the death of cosmonaut Valentin Bondarenko was due to the fact that a cotton wool moistened with alcohol broke out, causing an instant fire in the pressure chamber. The crew of the Apollo-1 burned in a similar situation, but there were no burning objects - apparently, there was quite a small spark. But nothing of the kind happened in the missions of Mercury, Gemini and Apollo, accompanied by the flying of urine and feces balls in the oxygen atmosphere of the spacecraft, which led to short circuits, but, strangely enough, did not cause fires.
2. Flying feces in the missions listed in 1 invariably caused jokes and fun among crew members - the press relished these stories. And in the same situation, the crews of the shuttle were sad - they even refused to eat, so as not to deal with fecal popcorn. On the contrary, the astronauts of the lunar missions did not complain about the appetite, and some gained weight.
3. The fecal popcorn of the space shuttles caused the crew members to grow in the mouth of Escherichia coli, which exactly repeated the similar phenomenon on the submarines during emergencies with leaking sewage. NASA is silent about similar cases before the shuttle era, although there is no lack of information about flying feces.
4. Technological rolling back shuttle: "But the toilet for the Space Shuttle turned out to be an engineering embarrassment. The original idea was wonderful - let's make a toilet in which air flows will place feces into the receiving device without the participation of an astronaut. However, it was not possible to achieve reliable work - feces constantly touched the walls of the tunnel, and the astronauts had to constantly clean it. The faecal packaging system did not work reliably enough, the toilet went down regularly enough. Also, it was necessary to undergo special training to use the toilet. .. Leakage of urine and flying away feces were not such a rare thing. "
These points clearly and convincingly show that the real era of NASA manned flights began with the appearance of space shuttles, and before that all flights, including those to the Moon, were simply mystified. For the first time, NASA’s ACS was tried on the shuttles, but due to the lack of experience in creating them, the design was unsuccessful. Funny stories about astronauts' toilet problems only reflect the ideas of the directors and scriptwriters of these shows about the leading edge of the space struggle: it was difficult, sometimes difficult and unbearable, smeared with feces - it doesn't happen to anyone, but in general it was fun and spiritually uplifting. Moreover, humor is typically American: anal-fecal. How can a show do without him ?!
But the showmen had no idea about the degree of influence of manned space flight on the human body, so their show do not talk about the hardest consequencesbecause there were no flights themselves! Even in the favorite anal fecal theme, the writers missed some important details. For example, that the physiology of great need is always accompanied by a small, i.e. it is impossible to simply dispense a great need into a package - the release of liquid waste will also occur involuntarily. Those. You need to put on a bath bag, but it’s not going to stick a bag to your buttocks, but also empty your bowels, because the belts of the bag collect over the anus. Moreover, the adhesion of the adhesive tape to sweaty, hairy buttocks is extremely weak, and the bag is almost impossible to fix.
Thus, the whole procedure should include a complete undressing, then the astronaut should somehow attach a hygiene package to the fifth point, which of course will fly away with a sudden and natural release of gases, and then put a liquid on the penis to collect liquid waste nasa engineering thought. What is not the plot for burlesque staging? ..
The Americans, up to the 80s, not only did not fly to the moon, but did not make long flights in Earth orbit. Otherwise, their spacecraft would have been equipped with automated control systems, and we would have seen how astronauts, tormented by weightlessness, are carefully taken out of the descent capsule, which in reality was not. They cheerfully jumped out and right there marched on solemn actions, carrying on themselves, according to the version of NASA, overflowed "feces retention subsystems".
7 December 2014g - 29 Jun 2015