A vital but unasked question is: what happens to human waste in space? Right now, astronauts bring it back home with them, but on longer space voyages, other solutions will be needed.

This will become more important in the future, when long space voyages are planned. Karen Miller writes that on a two-year trip to Mars, a crew of six humans will generate more than six tons of solid organic waste. Before we can venture out on long space trips, we’ll have to figure out how to recycle it.
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Astronomers say that half the planetary systems in our galaxy could contain Earth-like worlds that can sustain life. In 15 years, we’ll have space telescopes that will be able to observe these planets and detect any life that may be on them. But will we be able to contact them?
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The International Space Station, with its two-man crew (one American, one Russian) is losing cabin pressure, meaning it may have sprung a leak after recently being hit by a piece of space junk. So far, there are no plans to abandon the ISS, since NASA says the leak is small and is “having no impact on station operations and the crew is in no danger.”
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There are plenty of people who dislike the traditional idea of being buried in a graveyard. They usually opt for cremation, and ask that their ashes be scattered in a particular place. Now they can be sent into space. And you can now send final emails to your friends after you’re dead.

In 1997, Celestis launched Timothy Leary’s ashes into space and in April, they are sending the remains of 150 others into space on the Russian Kosmos 1 satellite. The containers will orbit the Earth for approximately 156 years, then re-enter the atmosphere, burning up along the way. This costs between $1,000 and $5,000, depending on the amount of ashes contained in the capsule.
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