An experienced astronaut who was part of the first private flight to the ISS .
SpaceX ‘s Crew Dragon commented on what he doesn’t like about leaving Earth.
Ax-1 , the first private space flight to the International Space Station (ISS) , took place last April and laid the foundations for a new era in missions outside our planet.
In this regard, Miguel López-Alegría , a veteran NASA astronaut who commanded the operation aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule , commented on his experience and revealed a fact that will remain for posterity.
Through his personal Twitter account , López-Alegría took the opportunity to comment on his experience aboard the ship of Elon Musk ‘s aerospace company , also leaving a statement that drew attention because it is an aspect that probably many people are have asked at some point without receiving any answer: what is the worst thing about traveling to space?
“The best and the worst of Ax-1?”
In his publication on August 30, the experienced astronaut was encouraged to talk about the best and the worst of having been part of the Ax-1 . In his response, López-Alegría stressed that listening to his crewmates talk about the first time they saw Earth from space was the best, but the worst puzzled several.
“The worst: the bathroom. No surprise, it’s always the bathroom ,” said the astronaut who currently holds the record for the most spacewalks among NASA astronauts with 10 opportunities. López-Alegría’s response is noteworthy because of his vast experience in space travel. In addition to SpaceX’s Crew Dragon , he was also aboard the space shuttle and Soyuz.
— Michael L-A (@CommanderMLA) August 30, 2022
The discomfort of going to the bathroom in space
Having to go to the bathroom is probably one of the most complicated and uncomfortable aspects of being in a spaceship or on the ISS for astronauts, and López-Alegría ‘s statement only confirms this. Space suits and microgravity are factors that do not collaborate during this task. In fact, the engineers behind the design of the Crew Dragon mentioned that it was quite an odyssey to get the pod’s toilets working properly.
In the past, the spacecraft of Elon Musk ‘s company had an impractical toilet due to a problem that was detected during the Inspiration4 mission. According to what was reported at the time, a tube that sent the urine to a container broke down and this caused a leak on a fan that spread it under the floor of the ship. The astronauts did not notice the problem at the time, but SpaceX identified it in its other capsules.
In itself, the problem was not the spilled urine but the fact that the system mixed it with a disinfectant called potassium monopersulfate, which could cause corrosion in the ship’s components in the event of prolonged exposure. Although it is not clear if what López-Alegría mentioned is due to a specific experience aboard the Crew Dragon , one thing is certain: going to the bathroom is the worst thing for an astronaut in space according to this veteran.