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NASA Issued a Challenge That’s Light Years Beyond Satire

NASA Issued a Challenge That’s Light Years Beyond Satire: KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV / Getty


It may not be the way you were expecting to get involved with space travel, but NASA needs your help. With a very specific issue.

As you can imagine, it’s incredibly difficult to go to the bathroom while wearing a space suit, and getting rid of it after you go isn’t as easy as just flushing a toilet—especially in zero gravity.

That’s where you come in.

NASA is crowdsourcing ideas for what they are calling the Space Poop Challenge. (To repeat: What they are calling. They being NASA.) They’re looking for people who can come up with viable, hands-free “fecal, urine and menstrual management systems” to operate inside the suit, collect the waste and properly store it for up to six days.

If you’re up for the challenge, there’s $30,000 in prize money along with the pride that inevitably comes with developing a space-age, comprehensive Stadium Pal for NASA. The winner will no doubt be most impressive; we just don’t want to hear—or see, or really engage any of our five senses on—the details of the failed tests along the way.

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