- Written by Josh
This week we were asked on our Facebook page, 'Can you fart in space?'
Well the simple answer is yes! You can, but it got us thinking. Down here on Earth there are so many things we do without even thinking about. When you go into a different environment all these things have to be considered and well space is a very different environment. I guess it is worth noting that while yes you can fart in space, it might not be the most pleasant thing to do. This is because while you are in space there tends to be very little ventilation. A fart on Earth, no matter how smelly, tends to be quite a short lived amusement. In space however you can't just open a window, especially if you are in a space suit. This will result in your 'bottom cough' sticking around for a lot longer. This is not going to be pleasant for anybody on board.
Now we should probably provide a small amount of context, it is not the case that all our visitors are bodily function obsessed weirdoes. This question came about because we recently pointed out to everybody (as part of our Twitter Friday Factoids) that you can't burp in space. This is all to do with gravity. On Earth gravity assists with our burps by holding all the solid and wet waste in our stomachs exactly there, in our stomachs. In space gravity can't assist, thus the gas expelled during burping is joined by all its solid and liquid friends, turning your burp into a vomit. This is obviously not a pleasant experience for our astronaut or their crewmates. We will be calling this a Bomit from now on.
These sorts of questions really help highlight how different living on space is. When training for space flight Astronauts and the engineers supporting them have to think about everything that will happen. This can range from how we are going to make the oxygen for them to breathe, to how you use a toilet (another tricky prospect). Slowly but surely we are getting there and the astronauts time on the International Space Station helps us to investigate more about living in space.