NASA Wants a Washing Machine for the ISS

Illustration for article titled NASA Wants a Washing Machine for the ISS

I was joking when I said this looked like a washing machine being installed on the International Space Station. Now NASA is serious about it. You know, because astronauts stink.


That's what everyone who goes to the ISS notices first: it smells really bad. Astronauts have to use the same clothes for days and, while they don't sweat as much as they do on Earth, bacteria still accumulates on the fabric. If we want to go to the Moon and Mars for long periods of time, we will need clean underpants.

The space washing machine—which will be developed UMPQUA Research Company—will work with vapor jets, air and microwaves. Apparently, their technology would give the clothes "greatly enhanced softness". Maybe this will be another one of those space technologies that one day will be common in every household and laundromat on Earth. [The Register via Pop Sci]


Why don't they put them outside. If it truly is a vacuum out there, it should kill all the bacteria and give all the clothes that fresh, "out on the solar panel" smell.