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Sunita Williams lifts lid on space station`s zero gravity loos

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 - 13:09

London: Indian origin astronomer Sunita Williams, who holds the record for the longest single space flight by a woman - 195 days, has demonstrated how astronauts use toilets in the zero-gravity International Space Station in a newly released video.

The former station commander has been explaining about the 12.5-million- pound hi-tech facilities as part of a fascinating video tour she compiled before returning to earth last November, the Mirror reported.

She said that the six-strong crew even has a choice of toilet paper - soft tissue for the Americans and the harsher, rough variety preferred by Russian cosmonauts.

According to Sunita, the "Waste Collection System ", or WCS, offers a degree of privacy with its own folding door.

She explained that No1s and No 2s are colour coded

In the video, Sunita is seen holding her nose as she point out the No2 loo and is heard saying: "That smells a bit - so I`m closing it".

US Navy pilot Sunita, who has spent a total of almost 322 days in space after seven missions, further said that the crew is also provided with nappies, gloves and sterile wipes in case things get a bit messy.

Though she said the system does occasionally go wrong, she doesn`t explain the details of the problem.

Sunita also showed the astronauts` beds - phone booth-sized compartments with sleeping bags.

She demonstrated how the crew could nod off in any position without feeling upside-down or disoriented in any way.

And if they need to wake up for a quick splash-down, it seems they just have to remember to leave the landing light on.


First Published: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 - 13:08
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