How DO astronauts go to the toilet in space?

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Since Tim Peake rocketed away from Earth to spend six months on the International Space Station, the question that’s been on the minds of children all over our corner of this blue planet is ‘how do astronauts go to the toilet in space?’

The first British European Space Agency Astronaut to walk in space has caught the attention of a generation by sharing stories of his space adventure from his position in orbit, 250 miles above Earth. Undertaking experiments via satellite link from the International Space Station, he has delighted school children and adults alike by doing things like spinning head over heels and playing ping pong with a fizzy vitamin tablet as he speeds through space at a mind-boggling 17,000 mph.

We are all gripped by Tim's journey to the ISS, the footage of his spacewalk and the awe-inspiring videos he shares of his view of our beautiful planet. But it’s the everday details of life in space that have drawn the most attention - what the astronauts eat, how they sleep - how they go to the toilet of course - and how the team has to exercise every day to stop their hearts shrinking as they beat more slowly in space, thanks to microgravity.

Next month Tim will become the first man to run a marathon in space when he takes on 26.2 miles on a treadmill at the same time as 37,000 runners pound the streets of Britain’s capital for the London Marathon. To combat weightlessness, Tim will wear a harness that tethers him to the treadmill as he runs, while watching the HD video of the London course on a big screen.

Feats like these that have fascinated everyone down here and we’re no different. Here at Dynamic Earth, and out and about in schools, we’ve been busy hosting Destination Space - workshops and educational events to help answer the Great Toilet Question and lots of others about life in space.

Backed by the UK Space Agency, science centres like Dynamic Earth across the UK have joined forces with Tim Peake to provide children and adults with a unique opportunity to learn about space exploration and life aboard the International Space Station.

Our programme isn’t just limited to telling Tim’s story, we’re also celebrating the amazing team behind him, highlighting the important work they do that makes an astronaut’s job possible.

We want to inspire a generation by showing them the wide range of opportunities that exist for young people in the fields of science, engineering, health - and space.

We’re investigating how the astronauts rely not only on a team of humans, but also robots, to carry out their experiments. With a series of fun interactive activities, we’re exploring the world of human space flight, discovering the science and technology behind space travel and learning about the challenges of living and working in space and its effects on the human body.

In the run-up to and during the Easter holidays, we’re holding a series of events where your little explorers can get involved in Destination Space - from finding out about the gruesome effects that six months in space has on the body, to interactive demonstrations about the awesome power of rockets (you can even make your own to take away) and you can even programme your own robot! Or maybe you fancy following in Tim’s footsteps? Learn what it takes to become an astronaut and take part in out challenges to see if you fit the bill.

For more information on the dates and times of our Destination Space events, check our What’s On calendar.

We look forward to exploring space with you soon!



23 Mar 2016


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