PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Space travel is one of the most complex activities imaginable, but it is one of life’s most simple activities that often perplexes some of NASA’s greatest minds.
That activity is going to the bathroom.
The crowdfunding group, HeroX, along with NASA, started the 60-day Space Poop Challenge. The contest garnered many ideas for streamlining the process of relieving yourself while wearing a space suit.
NASA currently employs an adult diaper inside the space suit which can last for one day. One of the goals of the challenge was to find a better system that could last up to six days.
“We are very excited to have had the opportunity to partner with NASA’s Johnson Space Center on this challenge,” said Christian Cotichini, the CEO of HeroX.
More than 5,000 solutions were pitched by individuals and groups.
Third prize and $5,000 went to Hugo Shelley’s SWIMSuit. The design featured zero-gravity underwear with a catheter design. According to the creator, the device can compress, seal and sanitize solid waste.
Second prize and $10,000 went to SPUDs, the Space Poop Unification of Doctors, who created a disposal system for waste, powered by air.
The top prize and $15,000 went to Col. Thatcher R. Cardon for his design that features an access port and valves that allow for waste to be expelled from the suit.