Astronaut poo looks look like a shooting star, yours doesn’t

15 Sep 2015

What weighs 180 pounds and looks like a shooting star? The total amount of poo that NASA astronaut Scott Kelly will fire back to Earth during his year in space.

That heart-warming fact was revealed by NASA as it celebrates the halfway point of the first-ever year-long mission from astronauts.

Both Kelly and his colleague, Cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko, are currently sitting in the International Space Station (ISS) far above our heads, whizzing around the planet to see the total effects a year in space will have on the human body.

Amongst other things, the duo will see almost 11,000 sunrises and sunsets, millions of stars and some truly incredible views, many of which Kelly has been avidly Tweeting.

Kelly will do over 700 hours of exercise, which you clever clogs will realise is a couple of hours a day, and will run 648 miles on a treadmill.

That’s well over 24 marathons. He’s no Eddie Izzard but it’s still quite the tally. You can click on the infographic to view it in a bigger format.

Year in Space - NASA

There will be over an experiment a day conducted by the American, with enough radiation exposure to represent thousands of transatlantic flights.

Your faeces will not be shooting stars

But in truth, the key metric is how much waste he will produce.

Well, NASA are awfully honest and forthcoming, claiming Kelly will drink 730 litres of recycled urine and sweat, and produce 180 pounds of poo.

“[The faeces] will burn up in the atmosphere and look like shooting stars,” said the agency. “Your faeces will not be shooting stars.”


Here is a short video to explain why it is these two men are doing what they are doing. It turns out creating shooting stars isn’t a top priority.

Main image via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic