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What happens to astronaut poop? NASA finally has an answer

Astronaut Scott Kelly is spending a year in space, and you might be surprised (and probably a little grossed out) by what happens to all the waste generated in that period.

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly is in the midst of the first-ever full year in space aboard the International Space Station, which naturally leads to certain questions...about when nature calls.

At long last, the space agency has provided us with details regarding the business of disposing of astronauts' personal business. NASA released the below infographic on Monday pointing out some key data points around the effect of a year in space on the human body and at least one about the effect of human waste on space.

Kelly will produce 180 pounds (82 kilograms) of poop during the course of a year in space, according to NASA. All that waste will be discharged at intervals from the space station and will burn up in Earth's atmosphere, looking just like shooting stars. Who knew something could be so dazzling and gross at the same time?


But that's not all. What happens to astronaut pee and sweat you might ask?

NASA says 730 liters (193 gallons) of the stuff will be recycled throughout the course of Kelly's space year for him to drink. That one's just gross without being dazzling.

Kelly and Russian Cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko are both spending a year in space, where they will undergo hundreds of experiments to look at the effects of space on the human body. Tuesday will mark the official mid-point of the yearlong mission.

Other fun facts about the mission and Kelly's body: Living in microgravity will cause 2 liters of fluid to shift out of his legs and towards his head. He's also going to have to faithfully exercise about two hours a day to keep his bones, muscles and heart in shape while in orbit.

Thanks, NASA for all the TMI about what you're doing to poor Scott Kelly, for taking an entire layer of sheen off the glamour of being an astronaut, and for ruining shooting stars for all us.