Out of this world: St Albans pupil rockets to success, winning NASA lunar loo competition
PUBLISHED: 12:52 13 November 2020 | UPDATED: 12:52 13 November 2020
A St Albans schoolboy has gone to infinity and beyond by winning a NASA competition.
Tasked with designing a lunar loo to go into space, budding scientist and inventor Joel Arun, 10, beat 900 other entries with his Artemis Easy Loo.
The St Alban and Stephen Catholic Primary School pupil wowed NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, rocketing to the top to claim the first place prize.
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Joel’s design utilises a saddle-shaped seat with an adjustable guard, suction, one-way flaps, smart sensors, disinfectant and anti-stick spray, and stacked bags that are vacuum-sealed for storage.
The innovative idea focused on making the toilet very easy for astronauts to use, unlike the current space toilets.
With the Artemis program, NASA will land the first woman and the next man on the moon in 2024. The Lunar Loo challenge was to design a compact, easy to use toilet integrated into lunar landers, and operating in both microgravity and lunar gravity.
To commemorate his achievement, Joel was presented with a signed photo from one of the astronauts who will be on the mission, and a certificate from NASA.
Headteacher Aideen Porter said: “What a fantastic achievement Joel! He wishes to be an inventor when he grows up and we have every faith that this dream will come true.”
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