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December 04, 2011

Space Washing Machine Could Blast Laundry with Microwaves

NASA is looking to find a way to clean astronauts' clothes on their long duration trips to Mars and beyond. NASA has contracted with the UMPQUA Research Company to construct a combination wash/dryer that is water and energy efficient and doesn't involve a tumbling process, which requires the Earth's gravitational force to operate. With UMPQUA’s proposed machine, astronauts would place their dirty laundry in an air-tight bag connected to tubes that shoot in a soap/water solution and bend the clothes back and forth. Microwaves would complete a drying process, and air jets apparently would make the laundry super soft. UMPQUA, which received a NASA Small Business Innovative Research grant to conduct further research on the machine, has been manufacturing water purification and disinfection flight hardware for manned space missions since the 1970s.

The article indicates that the astronauts’ only alternative would be to fly naked. I'm sure they would prefer this option!

Here is the link to the article:

Posted by djcarl at December 4, 2011 01:59 PM


This article actually seems kinda funny. Putting people in space and possibly on to Mars is such a crazy complicated process its funny that they have to put so much thought into something like washing clothes which seems so easy.

Posted by: ouellbre at December 5, 2011 12:45 AM

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