Thursday, May 11, 2017

Socks in space

Here's a thought:  when you wish upon a shooting star, it might turn out to be a load of astronauts' dirty socks and jocks* burning up:
Astronaut Don Pettit, a University of Arizona College of Engineering alumnus, wore the same pair of shorts for months at a time while living on the International Space Station. Doing laundry was not an option. When clothes got too dirty, he and his crewmates stored them onboard until they could be thrown out—launched with other debris on a spacecraft and incinerated upon entering Earth's atmosphere.
Anyway, you can read about attempts to work out a clothes cleaning system that would let them clean their pants occasionally, instead of throwing them out.  Silver embedded socks (I had written about silver space underwear before) washed in low concentration hydrogen peroxide looks promising.

*  Sexism alert - there's been a lot of female astronauts up there too.   In fact, only last week I noticed that Peggy Whitson had set the record for total hours in space.  I wonder how many change of clothes she's had in that time...

No comments: