(WAFF) - NASA has announced the winners of its Space Poop challenge, which sought solutions on collecting and routing human waste from astronauts wearing spacesuits up to six days in microgravity.
The top award recipients are as follows:
- Thatcher Cardon for the MACES Perineal Access & Toileting System (M-PATS)
- Team Space Poop Unification of Doctors (SPUDs) for the Air-powered Spacesuit Waste Disposal System
- Hugo Shelley for the SWIMSuit - Zero Gravity Underwear for 6-Day Use
The winning technologies were judged to have the most promising chances for "implementation with technology that engineers could potentially develop in the next three or four years."
The winners received a total of $30,000 divided among them.
NASA engineers are in the early stages of suit system design for deep space. These suit designs include waste management. They will test and develop different options before settling on a final design.
"The ability to protect the crew while in a pressurized suit for such an emergency situation is one that has never before been tested in space and is critical for crew health," said Kirstyn Johnson, spacesuit engineer at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. "It was invigorating to see the number of people interested and engaged in the challenge. From here, we'll be able to use aspects of the winning designs to develop future waste management systems for use in the suit."
Learn more about the challenges astronauts face with their spacesuits here.
This Space Poop challenge was managed by HeroX through NASA's Center of Excellence for Collaborative Innovation.
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