NASA's Space Poop Challenge

December 13, 2016 - Ta-Nehisi Coates 12/13/2016 Views: 18,597

The Best F#@king News Team makes pitches to NASA (a la "Shark Tank") for gear that allows astronauts to defecate without removing their space suits. (5:32)

Watch Full Episode

Now, here at The Daily Show,

we make a concerted effortto address all of the problems

facing this country.

And today is no different.

How do we go to the bathroomin space?


That's right.

You see, for me,life is a roller coaster.

One day,I'm interviewing the president.

The next day,I'm thinking about space poop.

And this is a real story.For decades,

astronauts have worn diapersin their space suits

to deal with goingto the bathroom.

Uh, I don't know whythey can't hold it but whatever.

Uh, but now space missionsare traveling further into orbit

than ever before,so NASA is looking

for a more sustainable wayto deal with the waste

over these longer trip times.

Is anyone else turned onright now? No? Just me?

Uh, if so,and if you have any ideas,

there may be some money in itfor you.

The space agency has launched

what it calls"The Space Poop Challenge."

NASA is offering a $30,000 prizeif someone can create a way

for astronauts to goto the bathroom while staying

in their space suits for--get this-- up to six days.

Now, some say when it comesto figuring out a way

to take a dump in space,

George Lucas already did thatwith The Phantom Menace. Uh...

-(laughter and groaning)-No, no, I don't think that.

I don't think that.I love that movie.

(in high-pitched voice):"Meesa disagreesa."

-(laughter) -I'm just sayingsome people. Some people.

But here at The Daily Show, we're always up for a challenge

so we sent our correspondentsto pitch some ideas for NASA

to a panelof America's best judges.

(dramatic TV theme music plays)

Hi, guys.

Barbara, I love youon Shark Tank.

And Tim Gunn, make it work.

-GUNN: Hmm.-So good.

And, um, uh...Sorry. I don't know who you are.

No, I'm actually one of the topastrophysicists here at NASA.

Oh, sorry.I thought you were famous.

I've been thinking a lot

about how to get ridof astronaut feces.

And then I realized,why get rid of it?

Why not just harness its power?

Introducing... the turdilizer.

So the astronaut fecesfertilizes

a potted plant when it's placedstrategically next to the anus.

Now the potted plant thenrespirates life-giving oxygen

back up to the astronaut.


How fascinating.

So it's a self-contained greenecosystem inside your pants?

LYDIC:That's right.

And there's more.Check this out.

Oh! I'm a poor astronaut.

Look at me!

I'm so busy doing scienceand moving my bowels,

that I've worked upquite the appetite.

Well, just my luck.

My ass plant... bears fruit.

Thanks for the pitch.

Tim, Barbara, some scientist.

So, the problem here is thatastronauts have been defecating,

and the product is staying nearto the asshole...

I mean, anus.

Not anymore.

This tube carriesthe fecal material

away from the anusin this direction.

Problem solved.

You're taking the waste fromthe astronaut's dorsal side,

and you're rerouting it where?

Yeah, I'm pooping on my dick.

Now, this is versionone point zero...

I'm sorry, Ronny,but total design failure.

You don't want meto unhook this, okay?

No, we don't.

Now this looks impressive.

Stylish, but practical.

You're damn right it is...Oh, I'm sorry.

You're damn right it is.Ha-ha!

-Oh.-WOOD: It's a spacesuit

with the booty cut out,so the flap is already down,

the butt is already out.

That way, you can take a dumpwhenever you want.

And there's a nice cool breeze.

And basically, to sum it up--

business in the front,potty in the back.

All right,thank you for your time.

It also doubles asan alternate propulsion system.

-Thank you. -It could prop...I'll show you.

-Look, look. Just...-Thank you.

Now... Voo...! Voo!


Thank you!

(indistinct whispering)

I think so.

Okay, we're readyto pick a winner. Desi,

we were very impressedby your creativity,

but there was some concern that

your spacesuit is literallythe stuff of nightmares.

Oh, thank you.

That was not a compliment.

I may never sleep again!


Roy, your design simplicityposed an elegant solution.

However, it would resultin astronauts being sucked

out of their spacesuitsinto the cold vacuum

of space where they would dienaked and alone.

Had-Hadn't really given thatmuch thought. I'm sorry.


Which leaves us with our winner,Ronny.

Yeah! I made the best spacesuit!

Oh, no, as a spacesuit,it's an utter disaster.

But we do see its potentialas a kinky fetish accessory

that we can marketto German perverts.

-Okay, cool.-♪ -(laughter)