The sun goes down, the day turns to night. You look up at the stars and see a light moving faster than the others – is it a satellite? A plane? The space station? Ooh, ooh it’s the space station!
And, of course, your first thought is always, how do they pee up there?
Using the loo in space is not easy. There are separate methods for urination and defecation, with solids collected in bags and liquid collected in 20 litre containers. The urine receptacle attachments are differentiated for men and women. Users need to strap themselves in otherwise… well… you wouldn’t want to drift off. The very small toilet opening for taking a crap means that careful alignment is key.
Watch as American astronaut Suni Williams takes you on a tour of the Space Station toilet
Astronauts need to train on the ground on how to use the ‘space potty’ before they jet off.
It’s a different story for space shuttles; the old Apollos weren’t equipped with toilets at all and astronauts had to use bags. A Russian company, which released a prototype for a new shuttle this week, has revealed that its design includes a fully functioning toilet. Loads of astronauts all around the world will, no doubt, be relieved.