Please Don’t Squeeze the Astronaut

Taking human anatomy into account, the toilet facilities on spacestation have an architecture that expertly aligns the purpose to theenvironment (such trifles as a toilet seat are not needed when you areweightless). The Soyuz spacecraft is a different matter. The toilet onSoyuz is simple, and will get the job done with minimum mess. Butrelaxing it is not. In the cramped quarters your crewmates politely keeptheir backs turned, with plugged noses. Fortunately, we only live inthe Soyuz for two days before we rendezvous and dock with the spacestation. After that we can live, and relieve ourselves, in semi-privatestyle.

The Olympian measure of endurance for a Soyuz crewmember is to holdyour bowel for the two-day passage. This is a competition with no placefor silver or bronze. Shortly after the hatch opening and the firsthandshake/hug with our friends already on the station, the newlyarriving crew makes a hasty retreat to the toilet. Exercising properspace etiquette, it is best not to give the newly arrived too strong ahug.

To help ease our difficulty, we are offered a pre-launch enema.Administered by our flight surgeons, this allows us to launch with aclear mind and a clean colon.

5 thoughts on “Please Don’t Squeeze the Astronaut”

  1. Small price to pay for being a star voyager. Its the little things no one really thinks about. Thanks Don, been watching and learning from you for a while now. Part of my inspiration to join NASA after my collage career.

  2. Hello to you, and all the cosmonauts and astronauts. My household follows you on NASA TV constantly and very much enjoy watching your interesting activities. I just have a question, actually: How many lap top computers do you have up and running on the ISS and are they all run from hard drives on Earth?
    Thank so much.
    Brenda Waters

  3. Don, I like your style.
    Please give us lot of details of your experiences. It is amazing and very interesting. Thanks.

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