Last week, the space shuttle Atlantis blasted off for an 11-day mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope. In addition to the seven American astronauts on Atlantis, there are three astronauts living and working on the international space station. With 10 humans orbiting Earth, it seemed like as good a time as any to talk about what astronauts do when nature calls.
Alan Shepard was the first American to be launched into space. His mission was a 15-minute flight that took place on May 5, 1961, in the Freedom 7 spacecraft. According to NASA records, Shepard had to pee minutes before his ship was about to take off. He told the mission commander about his predicament because he couldn't hold it anymore, and it was apparently too late for him to leave the ship. After a quick discussion among NASA scientists, Shepard was told he could pee inside the spacesuit without causing any problems. It must have smelled wonderful when he removed his suit after the flight.