Design & Architecture

Nine-Year-Old Malaysian Wins NASA Competition with Spacesuit Toilet Invention

Feature image via NASA

Beating almost 900 other competitors worldwide, 9-year-old Malaysian, Zyson Kang, comes in first place with his space toilet invention in a Nasa competition. Called the ‘Lunar Loo Challange,’ contestants were put to the task of designing a toilet for astronauts that can successfully work on the moon. This comes ahead of the next proposed lunar mission that’s set for 2024.

As stated on NASA’s site for the ‘Lunar Loo Challenge’:

“Although space toilets already exist and are in use (at the International Space Station, for example), they are designed for microgravity only. Nasa’s Human Landing System Program is looking for a next-generation device that is smaller, more efficient, and capable of working in both microgravity and lunar gravity.”

NASA
Zyson Kang beat 897 children who took part in the Junior category of Nasa’s Lunar Loo
Challenge
|Image credit: Facebook

The competition saw 897 entries of different designs from children of 85 countries. Zyson Kang’s “Spacesuit Lunar Toilet” impressed the judges so much, he was awarded the top prize in the Junior Category. Zyson’s design revealed that it did not even need electricity or batteries, requiring only mechanical kinetic power, and fits snugly into an astronauts spacesuit. Zyson talks about his clever design, saying it was made with convenience in mind.

“It works by applying a manual mechanical kinetic concept to produce a vacuum suction power to crystallise the urine and faecal matter for safe disposal. “When you move your legs, the urine will flow down into a container in the astronaut’s boots,” he said. “The design does not require any electrical components, hence, minimising the potential of a malfunction in space.

“When you move your legs, the urine will flow down into a container in the astronaut’s boots. The design does not require any electrical components, hence, minimising the potential of a malfunction in space.”

Zyson Kang Zy Shun

The Standard Three student presented his invention to the judges of the NASA competition on 28 October 2020. Zyson’s science coach, Chong Soo Sheong, 43, of I-Discovery World Science Centre in Kuala Lumpur spoke proudly of how Zyson’s outstanding achievement did not not happen overnight. He added that there was a long learning process involved in Zyson’s design, and that he worked tireslessly on the project for months on end.

“There were many ups and downs, trials and errors, as well as learning curves to overcome. But I’m glad his perseverance and continuous learning enabled him to stand out on an international platform.”

Chong Soo Sheong

NASA informs that “these designs may be adapted for use in the Artemis lunar landers that take us back to the Moon.”




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