Maggie Koerth-Baker is the science editor at BoingBoing.net. She writes a monthly column for The New York Times Magazine and is the author of Before the Lights Go Out, a book about electricity, infrastructure, and the future of energy. You can find Maggie on Twitter and Facebook.

Maggie goes places and talks to people. Find out where she'll be speaking next.

21 Responses to “How the Russians pee in space”

  1. Prufrock451 says:

    “Preventive measures” is such a nice way of saying “enema.”

  2. Friv 2 says:

    It is so fun. Nice to knowing it

  3. Reed James says:

    Why do astronauts seem to have every napkin, tissue, TP, and towel wrapped in plastic bags?  Does a tissue box dispenser not work in zero G’s?

    And doesn’t it lead to the space ship looking like someone just ate a whole pack of Kraft singles all the time?   Or do they have a hose that sucks all the plastic wrap into space?

    • In microgravity things which sit tight on Earth, keep coming loose. Part of the reason is the constant movement in six directions. Its like holding the tissue box up and shaking it around.

  4. Mitch_M says:

    Taking a dump in the Soyuz capsule is frowned upon. Sounds reasonable enough to me.

  5. Ramone says:

    “…avoided if at all possible …” Sounds healthy! I wonder what the rate of colon cancer is among cosmonauts.

  6. penguinchris says:

    Would be good to have on road trips – peeing into a bottle while you’re in the back seat is problematic enough, but it’s impossible in the driver’s seat (I’ve tried, and don’t worry, I know it was idiotic). Actually, I bet truckers probably already have a similar system available – some of the stuff you find in middle-state truck stops is absurd.

  7. Ladyfingers says:

    One thing I’ve always wondered is what microgravity does to alimentary/urinary flora. I mean, I assume a downward  pull plays some small role in keeping certain bacteria in their respective tracts, so do some use the opportunity to spread upwards?

  8. Anoz says:

    Our work once had a former astronaut (Mike Mullane) come in to do a motivational speech.  The guy was great, and just a down to earth guy, but for some reason he was really really driven to tell us how he used the toilet in space.  It must be a popular question. 

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      It must be like astronomy teachers trying to get all the Uranus jokes out of the way in the first class session.

  9. redesigned says:

    wait…i thought they solved all their space problems with pencils.

Leave a Reply