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Poop used as radiation shield


Free Spirit
Staff member
Astronauts in a privately-funded expedition to Mars in 2018 will use their own feces to protect themselves against cosmic radiation.
New Scientist reported on Friday that the Inspiration Mars project, funded by multimillionaire Dennis Tito, will develop a radiation shield for the 1166-cubic-foot spacecraft by lining its walls with, among other materials, human waste.

Mission to Mars will use feces as radiation shield
I know this sounds a little gross but they claim it makes a great radiation shield. They plan on using it for the upcoming Mars mission which they plan to send one man and one woman.


Better Call Saul
Staff member
Like by send them, you mean, they are going to actually walk on Mars or what? haha

That's a weird thing to prevent radiation though but I guess as long as it works that's all that matters!


Registered Member
As long as the poop is on the ship and not the people (say between two layers of walls), I don't really think it's gross.

It does seem odd - my first thought would be lead, but poop is much lighter, which is important for propulsion issues


New Member
Lead is an effective blocker of high energy radiation such as X-ray and Gamma ray radiation, but for cosmic rays good ol' hydrogen is a very effective blocker. So anything containing hydrogen is usually a good shield too. Given that water has two hydrogen atoms for every oxygen one, it makes it a very effective cosmic ray shield.

Just so happens poop has lots of hydrogen in it (mostly in water, but no doubt in other molecules too) and like the article says: no better place to store all that poop!

It's crazy sounding but it also makes a lot of sense! :)