Back in the ‘60s, when NASA sent astronauts to the moon through the Apollo missions, the space explorers got on some aircrafts that did not have any bathrooms. What the astronauts did get for their various needs were a rubber tube that the crew members could put on, similarly to a condom, and casually pee inside it, then throw it away. For the other duty, the astronauts got something much more complex: plain old poop bags.
NASA has planned a trip to the moon in 2024. For reasons that are understandable, they do not want to send astronauts into space with poop bags this time around. Mike Interbartolo, who has worked on the Human Lunar Lander System for NASA, has explained in an interview with the Verge that the crew had not control over the odors they released whatsoever and they completely hated the procedure. For example, one of the problems was that sealing a bag was the kind of job that required two people, which is often quite awkward. Besides, Interbartolo explained that poop bags are not the sort of technology that NASA wants to bring to our only natural satellite 50 years after the initial Apollo missions.
In this particular context, something known as the Luanr Loo Challenge took place. The program was actually an open call for some brand new space designs that NASA decided to launch the previous week. Several of these have already been equipped at the Internation Space Station, but those models can only be used in microgravity environments, so the floaty sort of places.
For the astronauts headed to the Moon that are part of the Artemis program, the program is also designed to work on the surface of the Moon. It should also be mentioned that lunar gravity is one-sixth of that of Earth’s and that whoever poops on the Moon probably gets bragging rights for life.