NASA needs your help building a toilet for space. As the organization gets ready to send more astronauts, both men and women, into space for missions, they need for a place for them to handle their business.

NASA decided to turn the creation of a special toilet for space into a huge competition. They're calling it "Lunar Loo Challenge." They are teaming up with HeroX to give away up to $35,000 in prizes. Don't get me wrong, NASA has plenty of experience building toilets for space. After all they just sent two astronauts into orbit last month. However, this time they are looking to “miniaturize and streamline” the toilets. According to CNET, NASA is hoping to get some “out-of-the-box” ideas that will bring “different perspectives” other than the “traditional aerospace engineering.”

The goal is to send the next set of astronauts into space in 2024.  According to the Verge, the mission will be a trip from lunar orbit to the moon’s surface. Because of this, the toilets will have to  work in microgravity and lunar gravity which is one-sixth of Earth’s gravity. Make sense? Well someone out there knows exactly what that means and has the capability to come up with something that could work.

"While we may know how to make space toilets, we recognize that there are a lot of innovations going in waste management from the no flush toilet to waterless toilets and more," said Mike Interbartolo, project manager for the Lunar Loo Challenge in the HLS Crew Compartment Office at NASA's Johnson Space Center. "So we wanted to expand our knowledge base by using this challenge to find the unknowns that might be out there."

There are some strict rules and regulations for the making of your toilet. For example it can't use up a lot of energy, it has to consist of "a mass of less than 15 kilograms in Earth’s gravity," and must collect up to “1 liter of urine per use.”

If you think you have the skills and brain power to come up with what NASA is looking for, you have until August 17 to submit your toilet.


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