11-Day Program Encourages Workers To Give All They Can
When ya gotta go, ya
gotta go... which is why NASA is reportedly looking for a few good
men and women to make an important donation to its Constellation
space program: urine.
And a lot of it.
According to an internal NASA memorandum posted on NASAwatch.com
-- and picked up with some measurable glee by the Associated Press
-- Orion capsule subcontractor Hamilton Sundstrand has asked
workers at the Johnson Space Center to donate nearly eight gallons
of urine a day, seven days a week, to test the spacecraft's waste
"Urine is a mess because urine is full of solids," said John
Lewis, who's in charge of life support systems for Orion.
Those solids, and the acidic properties of
urea, could wreak havoc on the capsule's venting systems
if the liquid waste isn't properly treated, and disposed of... so
the subcontractor wants to test its proposed system in
This isn't the first time NASA's asked its employees to give at
the office; in fact, the agency has done so throughout its
history... because, as Lewis puts it, "you can't make fake
Job #1 at JSC will run from July 21 to July 31. Among the
guidelines spelled out in the memo is the rule that donors should
only add urine to the "collection" if it's been collected
within an hour. And while workers are encouraged to give as
much as they can to the program, NASA
cautioned participants not to over-hydrate, as excess water
dilutes the sample.
"Our test is meant to be as flight-like as possible," the memo
states. "This means that unlike in the doctor's office, you do not
need to worry about starting collection midstream. Our testing will
be more accurate if you collect as much of the entire urination as
possible including the beginning."
Incidentally, NASA would have preferred to keep the lid on this
particular story. Spokesman Leo Makowski pointedly noted the
memo was NOT meant to go public.
Then again, of all the news services to
have leaked this particular story... we'd take AP,