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Microgravity Shower

Shower while in space!
  [vote for,

One of the major issues with living in microgravity is that things like Toilets and Showers don't work. So far NASA has the toilet thing worked out, but on those long space mission like the proposed trip to Mars there is something to be said for the ability to take a nice relaxing hot shower.

I propose a shower designed to function in microgravity. This shower system would look very similar to a conventional stand up type shower. The difference comes in in that the top and bottom of the shower system is a perforated grid of small openings which function essentially the same way as a normal wind tunnel with the shower section as the constriction in the system. The air would flow from top to bottom in a laminar flow. This would act to effectively simulate gravity as far as the behavior of the water is concerned as well as pushing the showerer to the floor of the shower allowing a rough approximation of a normal shower.(kind of the reverse of those skydiving simulators they have)

Along the top of the shower would be injectors that would release the heated water for the shower. The air would also be heated for comfort.

The water is collected in a series of scrubbers from the air which is recirculated and automatically cleaned by the action of the scrubbers(cyclonic and impingement) The water is then filtered and reused. Such a system could easily be built as a self contained unit.

Not only would this aid in proper hygiene it would also serve as a very effective moral improver and stress reducer, both much needed on long space voyages.

jhomrighaus, Feb 11 2009

Human Washing Machine http://www.pinktent...an-washing-machine/
[Spacecoyote, Feb 11 2009]


       Next step : gland type neck seal at the top of a large bladder that you climb into. Zero-G bath.
Custardguts, Feb 11 2009

       Too much trouble. I think Niven and Pournelle had it about right: A shower is a bag containing soapy water and a person. You stay in there until you're clean, or exhausted. Then you vacuum, rinse, and vacuum again. It's cold; you get it over with quickly. I think space is going to be a smelly place for the forseeable.
colorclocks, Feb 11 2009

       So let me understand you two. You are positing that if someone is going to be stuck on a ship for 2 years straight that there is no benefit to being able to take a long hot(or cold) shower from time to time. Instead you believe that it would be preferable to climb into a condom with some soap.
jhomrighaus, Feb 11 2009

       I imagine something like a huge Dyson vacuum cleaner, but with water instead of dust.
coprocephalous, Feb 11 2009

       ISS astronauts do sponge baths, for the time being.
Spacecoyote, Feb 11 2009

       If you want to raise moral, why stick to boring Earth showering techniques?   

       I think there should be a shower room which has vibrating sides. This would keep the water passing across the room. The showerer could then leap from end to end through the slowly moving water.   

       This also has the advantage that once you're clean you can lay against a wall and 'get filthy'.
marklar, Feb 11 2009

       We are all descended from creatures who went for very long periods of time without showers, baths, or other washing of any sort. No, I am not talking about anyones momma (with one exception and you know who you are.).
bungston, Feb 11 2009

       //So let me understand you two...// I agree that a shower would be very nice, but I wouldn't trade it for the equivalent weight of, say, food.
colorclocks, Feb 11 2009

       I think water might actually be used as a radiation shield, so in a long range ship, it's going to be there anyway.
Zimmy, Feb 11 2009

       //rotating wheel like things//
probably won't happen until we get a Spaceman's Union that can go on strike for better working conditions.
FlyingToaster, Feb 11 2009

       I think that as regards water reuse in space, it would be easier to vacuum distill it than to filter it. There is a lot of vacuum up there, I understand. Filtering would leave in all the solubilized soapy sebum.
bungston, Feb 11 2009

       Baked. The system you describe was used on Skylab. Want pictures? Google images on "Skylab Conrad Shower" for pics of Pete Conrad washing up (not to worry, there's nothing NSFW).   

       I would imagine there's a reason for not using similar on the ISS, but I've not heard what it is. (I'm pretty sure it's mass - but when the bugs get all worked out of the new water recycler, that may no longer be a concern.)
lurch, Feb 11 2009

       I always assumed this was how space-showers worked, not realising it hadn't been invented yet,
simonj, Feb 11 2009


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