SH: This is the other really practical question here: it's a space suit, so you're diapered up, yes?

RM: That was an option. You did have a tube on, what looked like a big condom. It had a nipple on the end of it, hooked up to a tube that led down to a bag with sponges in it. Those little hard sponges you see somewhere that when you put water on it, it expands to its real size? That's what was in these things. That's what you used for urination. The plan was to never use anything else. If you did, you just did.

They did have a diaper for extremely long flights, but I don't remember anyone ever using it. For one thing, if you were not well you did not fly. Everyone trained hard, everyone was in great shape, you watched what you ate. You used that little bag, and that was quite a challenge. You had to get the differential pressure right or you'd be sitting in wet pants for the whole flight.

Also, half the crew that suited you and de-suited you were female. You had a great working relationship with them. You just hated to come back it with poop in your pants. There's a lot of stuff in the job that isn't in the shiny brochure.


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