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Tuesday 22.08.2017 | Name days: Rudīte, Everts

Mission on Mars: Astronaut poop to be used as a radiation shield

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Private mission on the Red Planet, Inspiration Mars, will use fecal matter as a radiation shield, says Taber MacCallum, a member of the planning team.

According to him, human waste makes great radiation shielding, so it’ll be stuffed into bags and then lined along the walls of the ship. Prior to that the waste will be dehydrated, so the wastewater can be recycled for drinking.

Along with the literal bags of poop, food will pushed up against the craft’s walls as well, but wouldn’t become radioactive, as it would simply block the radiation rather than absorb it. That said, we can only hope the food wouldn’t be sharing a wall with the poop bags. The crew’s drinking water will also be used as shielding, as nuclei block cosmic rays, and water has more nuceli-per-volume than metal does, reports Geek.com.

Scientists are currently racking their brain to find a way to make the plans less uncomfortable for the crew. While opaque bags can be used to remove the sight of human waste, the smell might be much more difficult to control.

As reported, Inspiration Mars has announced plans to send a middle-aged couple on a privately built spaceship around the Red Planet.

The spacecraft is expected to blast off less than five years from now and pass within 150 km of the Martian surface.

The costs have not been disclosed yet, but outsiders estimate they could total more than $1 billion.

“This is not going to be an easy mission. We called it the Lewis and Clark trip to Mars. This is very symbolic and we really need it to represent humanity,” says chief technical officer Taber MacCallum.

It is also added that during the trip there will be limited opportunities to showers, limits on toilet paper and clothing and drinking water, AFP reported.

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