<img src="https://d5nxst8fruw4z.cloudfront.net/atrk.gif?account=iA1Pi1a8Dy00ym" style="display:none" height="1" width="1" alt="" />
Skip Navigation
You are viewing an older version of this Concept. Go to the latest version.


A force of attraction between things that have mass and how it relates to weight.

Atoms Practice
Estimated2 minsto complete
Practice Gravity
This indicates how strong in your memory this concept is
Estimated2 minsto complete
Practice Now
Turn In
Space Poop

Space Poop

Credit: Lindsey Turner
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/theogeo/3159051622/
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Everyone knows what a toilet is for and how to use it—on Earth. But what if you’re in space where everything is weightless? Did you ever think about the problems involved in pooping in space?

The Back Story

  • On Earth, everything falls down because of gravity. Earth’s gravity pulls all objects—including poop—toward the center of the planet.
  • When you sit on a toilet and “deposit” waste, gravity pulls it down into the toilet bowl. No problem.
  • But what if you were sitting on a toilet in the weightlessness of the International Space Station (ISS)? Imagine what would happen to the poop then.
  • Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield discusses this problem in the video below. He also explains how space toilets work to solve the problem.


Can You Apply It?

With the link below, learn more about gravity and weightlessness in space. Then answer the following questions.

  1. Why does the International Space Station (ISS) orbit Earth?
  2. Why doesn’t gravity pull the ISS and its occupants down to Earth?
  3. Astronauts aboard the ISS are subject to gravity, yet they are weightless. They literally float around in the space station (and so would their poop if it wasn’t sucked into the toilets on board.) How can astronauts be weightless while experiencing Earth’s gravity?
  4. How is riding a roller coaster like orbiting Earth on the ISS?

Notes/Highlights Having trouble? Report an issue.

Color Highlighted Text Notes
Please to create your own Highlights / Notes
Show More

Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: Lindsey Turner; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/theogeo/3159051622/; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Explore More

Sign in to explore more, including practice questions and solutions for Gravity.
Please wait...
Please wait...