In this modern fast paced world we live in it is often hard to keep up with all the new technology and the latest in appliances. Each time you need to purchase a new washer or dryer you find that they are much improved and certainly far different than they were a generation ago. Have you ever given any thought to how astronauts wash their clothing in space? The space station has one or more astronauts living on it at any given time. We are sure there will be more interplanetary crafts and lunar expeditions in the near future. So the question remains, how do they do their laundry? For the best coin operated laundry equipment NC has to offer, call T & L. We'd love to give you a free estimate.
To answer this we look at a recent announcement from Russia. They have engineers and experts working to develop a special washing machine designed to work in space. RKK Energiya, the manufacturer and designer of the space station, ballistic missiles, and other spacecraft, have outlined publicly their plans for this ingenious product development.
To understand the importance of this announcement you must remember that a washing machine needs gravity in order to work. A whole lot of water is also required. This water must be stored and such a large amount will certainly increase the weight of a spacecraft. The result is that astronauts cannot wash their clothes. This means they must take along enough clothing for the entire trip. The alternative is to get a resupply of clothing if you are on the space station or throw away your used clothing into space. That would be terrible.
It is estimated that 1,450 pounds of clothes are required for three astronauts every year in the International Space Station. That’s a lot of clothes! As space travel increases this problem will loom larger. Getting to Mars is a seven to nine month one way trip. If you do a round trip that’s a whole lot of underwear. The development of a washing machine for trips in space is truly groundbreaking.
Although there are not a whole lot of technical details of this orbital washer available we do know that carbon dioxide will be used to treat the clothing. It is estimated this carbon dioxide will turn into a liquid aggregate at 31 degrees Celsius or 87.8 degrees Fahrenheit. With a pressure of 74 atmospheres this will then clean the spacesuits.
Talk about out there! A washing machine in space seems as far fetched as can be, but everyone needs clean clothes and that includes astronauts. It will be interesting to see how this new technology comes together and what impact it might have on the future of washers here on Earth.
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