Several people, in response to my NY Times essay, have said that women couldn't go into space because we lacked the technology for them to pee in space.
And yet, they still made plans to send a man into space.
They made no plans for peeing.
He asked Mission Control for permission to go in his suit. After consultation with flight surgeons & suit technicians, they gave him permission to do so.
So he wet himself & still went into space.
It worked great in testing, but when the actual astronauts used it, the sheath kept blowing off and leaving them with pee in their suits.
Was this about extended time in the spacesuit?
They did not.
Subsequently, the astronauts called the sheaths were called "Extra-large," "Immense," and "Unbelievable."
That worked well for Gemini and Mercury. And by well, I mean there was still urine in the capsule and it stank of feces.
Apollo needed a different solution.
If you timed it right.
Open it too early and the vacuum of space reached through the valve to grab your manhood.
Apparently, the venting of pee into space is very pretty. It catches the sunlight and sparkles.
Buzz Aldrin was the second man on the moon, but the first to pee there.
After the accident, they couldn't use the regular vent, because it needed to be heated to keep the pee from freezing.
It wasn't meant to be a permanent ban, but the crew didn't understand that. So they were stashing pee in every bag or container possible.
He got a UTI and then a kidney infection.
To launch and for a spacewalk, they developed the MAG
Maximum Absorbency Garment.
It's a diaper.
They also developed a zero-G toilet so that astronauts no longer had to tape a bag to their ass.
Fun pooping in space fact: Without gravity, the poop doesn't break off as it exits your body. You have to reach back and help with special gloves.
Sometimes though, the toilet breaks down. At that point, they return to using "relief bags" taped to their ass and "manual urine containment."
Fun fact: Due to chemicals, it is bright purple and acidic.
Fun fact: Poop regularly escapes, which is why you never eat a milk dud found floating in the ISS.
We didn't have the technology for men to pee in space when they started either.
And some days, the best solution is still a diaper or a bag taped to the ass
What about Farting in space? - It does not propel you. Astronauts have tried.
What about belching? - Gravity keeps food at the bottom of the stomach. Burps in space tend to be accompanied by solid matter
It turns out menstrual blood moves via a wicking action. Gravity can speed that up, but is unnecessary.
Also, tampons exist.
She said, "No. That would not be the right number."
They cut it back to 50...
It's such a complicated process that they pee on a schedule.
Every astronaut to launch from Baikonur since has done the same.
Women squat or carry a vial of pee.
However, according to Mike Mullane in his book, Riding Rockets, he woke most mornings on the shuttle with his "wooden puppet friend"
"I had an erection so intense it was painful. I could have drilled through kryptonite."