NASA is offering $35,000 in prizes to design a toilet that will work on the moon

Upper advanced
By Gogo
2020/07/04 10:22

Today's Vocabulary

1. loo  (n.) 
informal for toilet

2. ambitious (adj.)  
having a strong wish to be successful, powerful, or rich

3. crew (n.)  
the people who work on a ship, aircraft, etc.

4. gravity (n.)  
the force that attracts objects towards one another, especially the force that makes things fall to the ground

5. accommodate (v.)  
to provide with a place to live or to be stored in

6. conserve (v.)  
to keep and protect something from damage, change, or waste

7. pristine (adj.)  
new or almost new, and in very good condition

8. odour (n.)  
a smell, often one that is unpleasant

9. vomit (v.)  
to empty the contents of the stomach through the mouth

10. disposal (n.)  
the act of getting rid of something, especially by throwing it away

NASA is offering $35,000 in prizes to design a toilet that will work on the moon


NASA wants you to help put the loo in lunar, so it’s offering $35,000 in prizes to design a toilet that can be used on the moon.

The space agency has set an ambitious goal of sending astronauts back to the moon by 2024 and the crew will obviously have to go to the bathroom during the mission.

NASA may adapt the toilet design for its Artemis lunar lander, so it will need to work both in the microgravity of space, or “zero-g,” and on the moon, where the gravity is about a sixth of what we feel on Earth, according to the design guidelines posted by NASA and HeroX, which allows anyone to create challenges to solve a problem facing the world.

The mission will include the first female astronaut to ever travel to the moon, so the toilets will need to be able to accommodate men and women.

The toilet designs should also conserve water and “help maintain a pristine environment inside the lander that is free of odors and other contaminants.”

“Bonus points will be awarded to designs that can capture vomit without requiring the crew member to put his/her head in the toilet,” the guidelines said.

It should be able to support a crew of two astronauts for 14 days and allow for the transfer of the collected waste to storage or for disposal outside the vehicle.

Space will also be an issue, so the toilet needs to weigh less than 33 pounds on Earth.

A toilet onboard the International Space Station is about the size of a small closet.

The top prize is $20,000. The deadline for submitting the designs is August 17 and the winners will be announced in October.


1. Would you like to go to the moon or travel into space?

2. What would you do if you had that opportunity?

3. If you spent six months in space, what would you do first when you came back to Earth?

4. When was the latest time you went traveling?

5. What would you ask an astronaut on the space station?

“That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Neil Armstrong

“ I don’t know why people who have not been on rockets continue to ask, ‘you’re not scared?’ No, we were not scared.. until something happens, then it’s time to get scared.”

Buzz Aldrin