Astronaut Scott Kelly Will Poop A Shooting Star
And he'll drink the urine of his Russian cosmonaut buddies. Space is gross.
Astronaut Scott Kelly has spent almost six months in space on a record-breaking one-year mission, which means he has produced approximately 90 lbs. of feces—feces that will be ejected into the atmosphere and burn up like a shooting star.
The most entertaining takeaway from NASA’s newest infographic on Kelly’s scientific endeavor is perhaps that 180 lbs. of his feces will be jettisoned and ignited into space to appear as a shooting star. Next time you make a wish into the night sky, you could be wishing on the rehydrated tacos Kelly had on Cinco de Mayo.
Water, Water, Everywhere
Not only will Kelly poop stardust, he will drink about 730 liters of his and his roomies’ recycled urine and sweat. NASA purifies moisture from respiration and sweat of the crew onboard, as well as collecting shower runoff, and urine from humans and animals on board the station. Through that system, NASA is able to reclaim 93 percent of all water onboard, according to a video posted by Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield while he was on the space station in 2013.
Americans are ok with drinking their own purified urine; it turns out that Russians, however, are not–they discard it and reclaim the moisture from everything else in their section of the station. American astronauts will extract water from their Russian comrades’ urine, meaning that American astronauts are literally taking the piss out of the people whom they share the space station with every single day.
— Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly) August 30, 2015
Speed Of Light
During his tenure in space, which he has documented through an active social media presence using #YearInSpace, Kelly will see 10,944 sunrises and sunsets as he orbits the earth at a speed of five miles per second. He will run 648 miles on a space treadmill.
A Matter Of Some Gravity
Over the course of the year, 383 experiments will be conducted to compare Scott Kelly’s physical reactions with those of his twin, Mark Kelly, who will be staying on earth. Scientists are banking on an unparalleled collection of data that will tell them more about our DNA and how it expresses itself in disparate environments. Because of his zero-gravity environment, almost two liters of fluid which would typically pool near his feet will, without gravity, move towards his head. He’ll also absorb as much radiation (which is filtered out by the atmosphere for us earthlings) as one would during 5,250 flights from New York to Los Angeles.