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Russia develops space washing machine to make spacecrafts hygienic
Russia's Energia Space corporation which builds spacecraft has developed the first space washing machine. This will help astronauts clean their clothes while in outer space for a longer duration.
The company made the announcement via its YouTube channel. "By the way, for future lunar expeditions and other interplanetary crafts, RKK Energiya has started developing a special space washing machine," the voiceover says, without spilling any further details. In space, astronauts wear the same clothes for several days and throw them with dirty clothes.
Back in 2017, a Russian space industry journal published a paper by RKK Energiya researchers that described a washing machine that would come in handy on the ISS. The paper mentioned that around 660 kgs of clothes are ferried to the ISS over a year for a team of three astronauts. The author also warned that the number would increase to three tonnes for a two-year flight to the Red Planet.
Having onboard "equipment for hygienic treatment (washing) could significantly lessen the stocks of personal hygiene products and items of clothing," the report said.
Speaking of Mars mission, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said the first person to ever set foot on Mars could be a woman. "It's likely to be a woman, the first next person on the Moon. It's also true that the first person on Mars is likely to be a woman," said Bridenstine.