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Shitty Tools – turning Astronaut poop into useful things

On my search for space news for my non-fiction piece this week, I could not pass up the opportunity to learn more about this.

The university of Calgary is currently developing an awesome technique that turns shit into plastic. Yep. You heard me. Feces into polyhydroxybutyrate, if you wanna get all sciencey.

The technique involves a GMO E. coli strain. And the process seems quite simple really. The poop is left for several days to increase its Volatile Fatty Acids. Then those VFAs are extracted via centrifuge and filtration. The extracted VFAs are left to ferment in special tanks, where they get all cozy with the fancy E. coli bugs. Then using a fucking 3D printer (!) the astronauts can print whatever they want!

The process will be tested in a low-grav aircraft this July.

This world is so amazing and exciting. I love being alive in this little slice of our existence. In a world where nanobots and vaccines and 3D printers and AI are more than just Sci-Fi.

Good luck and Godspeed, poop warriors!

I wonder if they are using their own poop to do the tests or if they are taking poop donations…



47 thoughts on “Shitty Tools – turning Astronaut poop into useful things”

    1. I dunno… I really like bananas and they are gmo… same with broccoli and apples… actually most of our fruit and veg are genetically modified these days to make them more palatable for us and to make growing them in the needed quantities easier. Genetic modification is a great thing. Sometimes we do it wrong but we have learned from our mistakes.

      Yes! Much better than poop burgers

      Liked by 2 people

      1. We must be careful with GMO’s. The longitudinal research is ongoing, but there have been several illnesses, allergies and such, associated with the chemicals sprayed on the large fields. Those allergies and such were not around, when I was a kid. I also find naturally-grown fruits and vegetables much tastier than the engineered stuff. You are right about bananas though; there are no naturally-grown bananas left, it seems.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Mmm… you know what… I may stop this convo here. As much as I love discussions like this, I feel that we will not see eye to eye. And I like you. And I don’t want to argue with you 🤣
        … agree to disagree?

        Liked by 2 people

  1. The first thing I thought of when you said ‘poop’ and then ended with ‘kisses’ was ‘Hershey Kisses” which look like the poop emoji, which brings us full circle to poop.

    Question: Was the first moon rock actually petrified poop from one of the astronauts taking a grumpy in the vacuum of space?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lol I was actually going to put the feature image as a hershey’s kiss… but I thought I’d better not…
      “Taking a grumpy” ?? Bahahahahahahaha
      This would imply that they took off their space suits… or there were poop evacuators on their suits… I’m voting no…

      Liked by 1 person

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