Is That a Shooting Star?

Nope, it’s human waste.

NASA says astronauts create 180lbs of excrement each year that burns up in the atmosphere.

A gross yet fascinating fact right? I mean… it got your attention.

Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko’s mission to spend a year in space hit its half way point recently. To celebrate it all, NASA has released some cool facts about what this is doing to American Kelly’s body.

The list includes how many sunrises he will see, how much radiation he will experience as well as the fact he is likely to produce 180 pounds of feces that will ‘burn up in the atmosphere and look like shooting stars.’

Still want to know more?

It’s okay. I was curious too.

NASA experts say astronauts use the bathroom by using a suction system. (Some of the waste is reused on the ISS for life-essential systems.) But let’s get back to the suction thingy… it’s about four inches wide. In comparison, our toilets on Earth are about 12 to 28 inches in diameter.


The astronauts use restraints to hold themselves to the seat… this way no waste escapes.

The toilet itself is like a vacuum cleaner. Air pressure simply sucks it away.

Obviously, there are different set ups for men and women.

Another thing, these space toilets are not cheap. They cost about $19 million. The entire set up, however, is up to $250 million.

Well, if you’ve read this far, then you deserve to know just how many sunrises Kelly will see in a year while in space… it’s 10,944.

(sources: NASA, Daily Mail)


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