Sunday, March 30, 2014


Back on September 30, 2009 I wrote a blog entitled "Hello!  It's Chicken Little Again."  It was my thoughts on space junk as pertains to astronauts and elimination problems.  I found the whole thing very funny.

And now, I find another funny story about early astronauts and the development of space diapers.  Initially I did not think I should introduce it to you via my blog, since I had an feeling you might think my sense of humor equaled that of a 5 year old boy who runs around calling people "pooh-pooh head."  But since this article hit me in the face when I booted up the computer today and gave me a good laugh, why not share it with you?  I wish I had written it, but no, it's a recap on an original article published in the Houston Chronicle:  
It was a mission-critical element: the size of NASA astronauts' manhood. Seriously. The Houston Chronicle resurrects the fascinating historical tidbit by way of the Science Channel's Moon Machines documentary series, in which engineer Donald Rethke explained the very precise nature of early space diapers.
The Maximum Absorbency Garment system, donned by Gemini and Apollo astronauts, featured one very specific element: a sleeve likened to a condom with a hole at the tip that enabled the men to urinate into a pouch with a one-way valve in their suits.
Three sleeve sizes were available, small, medium, and large. And astronauts couldn't fib, explains Rethke. If they decided to order the next size up, the sheath wouldn't fit snugly, and liquid could potentially leak out, causing damage.
To make the process a little less embarrassing, the sizes were later renamed: large, gigantic, and humongous. Motherboard notes that the urination issue was first brought to the fore by Alan Shepard, who spent hours in the Freedom 7 capsule in advance of a quick 15-minute "suborbital hop." Denied permission to leave the capsule, he opted to pee in his suit—forcing Mission Control to turn off his biomedical sensors until the flow of oxygen in the suit dried the pee, allowing the sensors to be switched on.
Today's astronauts enjoy actual restrooms, though MAG systems are provided to astronauts who are operating outside space vehicles. 
Why do I think this is funny?  It's all in the writing, I guess.  Maybe I was simply primed to laugh, as I had just read, also online, a joke about a mother whose small child swallowed a 22 caliber bullet.  She ran to a nearby pharmacy and asked the pharmacist what she should do.  He handed her a bottle of castor oil and said, "Make him drink this, and then just wait for it to act.  But see that he's not aimed at anybody!" 

I found that funny too. 

Guess it's just one of those days!

1 comment:

Olga Hebert said...

Ha! Ha! Poo-poo head.