It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Originally posted by berkeleygal
answer... very carefully!
A toilet seat sits atop a collection hose with a small opening above it. The opening, once the hatch slides back, is only about four inches in diameter. Working in weightlessness, without the benefits of gravity, the astronaut has to, shall we say, deliver a payload with precision accuracy.
Without floating off the seat.
To that end, astronauts must use special thigh clamps and body restraints to keep them held in the proper position. As Mullane explains, getting into exactly the right position takes a lot of training back on Earth.
If the astronaut isn't positioned correctly over the vacuum of the toilet, solid waste could get smeared on the toilet and the astronaut. In a worse-case scenario, some might escape and start floating around the space vehicle.
As part of pre-flight training at Johnson Space Center, Mullane says, astronauts used a duplicate of the shuttle toilet. Even though they have the benefit of gravity, they still had to learn precision positioning.
"To help the astronauts.....NASA installed a camera at the bottom of the toilet simulator transport tube. A light inside the trainer provided illumination toa part of the body that normally didn't get a lot of sunshine. A monitor was placed directly in front of the trainer with a helpful crosshair marker to designate the exact center of the transport tube. In our training we would clamp ourselves to this toilet and wiggle around until we were looking at a perfect bull's-eye. When that was achieved, we would memorize the position of our thighs and buttocks in relation to the clamps and other seat landmarks," Mullane wrote.
There are stories about astronauts marking their thighs to remind them exactly where the clamps were supposed to fit. Astronauts are known for being perfectionists, and this is one space chore that truly requires absolute perfection in targeting.
and suction is out of the question