Where Does Astronaut Poop End Up?


Image Credit: NASA

The next time you see a shooting star, just know: It could be astronaut poop.

NASA released the infographic above to highlight some of the changes astronaut Scott Kelly’s body will go through during his year aboard the International Space Station with Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko. The mission, designed to study the effects of long-term spaceflight, is about twice as long as the average ISS trip, and the space explorers are about halfway through their journey. 

Along with factoids such as how much Kelly will exercise and how much radiation he’ll be exposed to, NASA shared several numbers that will interest the toilet enthusiasts among us. Kelly will drink 730 liters of water drawn from recycled urine and sweat, and he’ll produce 180 pounds of feces (barring any unforeseen incidents). Astronaut poop can’t just be flushed down the drain, of course, because space has no sewer pipes. Instead, it’ll be cast off from the station along with other ISS trash. It will eventually incinerate due to the extreme heat of atmospheric re-entry, sort of like a meteor

And, just like a meteor, that hot ball of poop trash will light up across the sky like a shooting star. But, as NASA cautions, “your feces will not be shooting stars.” Killing our dreams, NASA!

[h/t: Washington Post]