Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

3rd-Graders Study Space `Craft' Complex Clothing and Potty Training Fascinate Students

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

3rd-Graders Study Space `Craft' Complex Clothing and Potty Training Fascinate Students

Article excerpt

Third-graders at Ellis School near Belleville showed keen interest in every detail of a presentation on space exploration. But what they found really fascinating was astronaut underwear and toilet facilities.

And Lillian D. Kozloski, a museum specialist at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, knew how to play to her audience.

"You have to take lessons to learn how to use the potty in space," she told the pupils, showing a slide of a peculiar looking orange toilet aboard the space shuttle.

The commode comes equipped with a seat belt, for safety in zero-gravity. "If you mess up, you have to clean up too," Kozloski said during the presentation Thursday. Even so, the astronauts much prefer the space toilet to the diaper-like containers they had to wear on early missions, she said.

Pupils tittered as Kozloski held up a pair of almost-normal-looking but very expensive long johns made partly of Teflon.

Because the temperature in space can vary from colder than Antarctica on the dark side of the moon to hotter than an oven on the sunny side, astronauts wear special undergarments and suits made of several layers, she said.

And water is pumped between the layers to maintain temperature, she added.

The innermost layer must be soft and flexible, Kozloski said, holding up a swatch of material. "These people made bras and girdles, so they were experts with stretchy material," she said.

Early space suits took 1 1/2 hours to put on, even with the help of two technicians, but a modern Apollo suit is put on almost like a pair of jeans and sweat shirt, Kozloski said.

Aboard the space shuttle, astronauts remove their boots and wear soft, sock-like slippers, Kozloski noted. And with the sun rising and setting about every 90 minutes, they wear a special mask to block out light when they want to sleep.

Kozloski was in town for a Women in Aviation conference last week at the Adam's Mark Hotel. Ellis School was one of five given the opportunity to invite one of the conference participants to appear as guest speaker. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.