Back in June, the United States’ National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) called on the world’s inventors to develop a toilet that works not just in microgravity but also lunar gravity on a future lunar lander spacecraft. The ‘Lunar Loo Challenge 2020’ was part of its plans to return to the Moon by 2024 under the Artemis mission.
After going through 897 participants from 85 countries in the junior category, they have found a winner in 9-year-old Malaysian boy, Zyson Kang Zy Sun.
According to NST, his invention – the ‘Spacesuit Lunar Toilet’ can easily fit into an astronaut’s spacesuit and works around microgravity in space by creating a vacuum to suck up liquids.
While NASA insisted that they do not want any more bulky space diapers or big shuttle toilets, Zyson’s device can be used by simply moving the legs while in space so that the urine will flow down into a container in the astronaut’s boots.
It also does not require batteries or an electricity supply!
He started the project back in June and submitted his model for NASA to evaluate in August. His coach at I-Discovery World science centre, Chong Soo Sheong said that his student’s win was no fluke.
“Zyson has a knack for inventions. He is an avid reader with an extremely curious mind. Science simply excites him, especially astronomy,” he said, adding that the boy aspired to become a geneticist in the future.
On Oct 29, NASA invited him to present his model at a webinar. “The NASA team was impressed by the simplicity of his model,” said Chong.