Poo as Radiation Shielding

Bazillionaire Dennis Tito's Inspiration Mars mission to send a man and a woman to the Red Planet has got 99 problems, but radiation from cosmic rays ain't one. Why? Because it's just been solved ... by poo.

... their greatest health risk comes from exposure to the radiation from cosmic rays. The solution? Line the spacecraft's walls with water, food and their own faeces.

"It's a little queasy sounding, but there's no place for that material to go, and it makes great radiation shielding," says Taber MacCallum, a member of the team funded by multimillionaire Dennis Tito, who announced the audacious plan earlier this week.

McCallum told New Scientist that solid and liquid human waste products would get put into bags and used as a radiation shield – as well as being dehydrated so that any water can be recycled for drinking. "Dehydrate them as much as possible, because we need to get the water back," he said. "Those solid waste products get put into a bag, put right back against the wall."

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Could you imagine the captain barking to his underlings "raise the radiation shield" and having them all run to the bathroom to, uh, gather up raw materials?
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