NEW YORK (CBS NEWS) - Ground control to Major Tom: What happens when an astronaut needs to use the bathroom? Out of all the innovations developed in mankind's quest to go forth and explore the universe, NASA has still not moved beyond the adult diaper for astronauts who need to relieve themselves when they head out for a spacewalk or during a rocket launch.
Yes, it's gross, but thanks to the "60-day Space Poop Challenge," spearheaded by crowdfunding platform HeroX — with the support of NASA — has come up with some inventive solutions for responding to nature's call in zero gravity.
On Wednesday, HeroX revealed the three winners of the contest, which called for solutions to "human waste management inside a spacesuit" while still "protecting the health and safety of its astronaut occupant for up to six days." The challenge specified just what quantity would need to be managed during that time. Current spacesuit-compatible adult diapers last for less than one day.
"We are very excited to have had the opportunity to partner with NASA's Johnson Space Center on this challenge," HeroX CEO Christian Cotichini said in a press release "The opportunity to contribute to future NASA missions by helping to protect astronaut health and safety, combined with the curiosity that surrounds performing the most basic of human bodily functions in microgravity, seemed like a perfect HeroX crowdsourcing opportunity."
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