How do astronauts wash clothes in space? They don’t wash it. They wear their underwear, gym clothes, and everything else so they can’t take the dirt and odor and then destroy it.
NASA wants to change that — if not at the station, then at least on the Moon and Mars — and stop dumping tons of dirty clothes each year, putting them in the trash to incinerate on abandoned ships. So he cooperates with Procter & Gamble Co. To determine the best way to clean astronauts’ clothes in space so they can be reused for months and even years, just as they would on Earth.
Cincinnati announced Tuesday that it will be sending two experiments with Tide cleaner into space this year and next to try to solve the problem of soiled, sweaty clothes.
It is not a minor problem, when the United States and other countries plan to establish bases on the Moon and on Mars.
Rocket cargo space is cheap and expensive, according to NASA, so there’s no point wasting it on new clothes if the clothes you have can be kept new. If you calculate that an astronaut needs 150 pounds of clothing in space each year, that adds up quickly, especially on a three-year mission to Mars, said Mark Civic, a chemist who specializes in tissue technology and world care. .
Then there are the health factors.
Station astronauts exercise for two hours each day to combat the effects of weightlessness on muscles and bones, which quickly leave their exercise equipment sweaty, smelly, and stiff. Their shirts and socks smell so bad that they only wear one pair a week, according to Lillian Melvin, a former NSASA astronaut and former NFL player.
“After that time, these substances are considered toxic,” said Melvin, a project spokesperson. “It is as if they have their own lives. They are cruel of every race.”
In its initial trial, Procter & Gamble will ship a cleaner created specifically for space in December so scientists can see how enzymes and other ingredients interact with six months of weightlessness. Then, in May, the anti-stain wipes will be sent to the station for astronauts to test.