Can Astronauts Fart In Space? [The Strange Truth!] (2022)

When there are billions of undiscovered entities out there in the universe, what we actually want to know is whether or not astronauts can fart in space. It’s a daily occurrence for us, humans, back on Earth. For some of us, it seems to be a much more regular occurrence. There are so many questions about what it’s like to let one rip up in space. Do they smell the same? Do they sound the same? What’s the breaking-wind situation up there? Let’s find out!

So, can Astronauts fart in space? Astronauts can fart in space, but they should do so with caution. Astronauts work on a space station that is made up of multiple tiny, pressurized compartments. If a fire breaks out in one of these compartments, then lingering farts, which contain flammable gases such as methane and hydrogen, will cause a worrying explosion.

Well, since American astronaut John Young was the first to fart on the moon (allegedly), NASA has been researching space flatulence for decades now……..no, they haven’t.

They’ve been researching the cosmos, but you and I, we’re going to take a look at this very serious issue.

So stick around; it’s interesting, if not quite amusing, at the very least.

Contents

  • 1 What Happens When Astronauts Fart In Space?
  • 2 Do Astronauts Fart More In Space?
  • 3 Would A Fart Move You In Space?
  • 4 How Do Astronauts Stop Themselves From Farting In Space?
  • 5 Finally

What Happens When Astronauts Fart In Space?

Farts tend to linger in space for quite some time due to there being very little airflow to carry them away.

On Earth, when we fart, we know that the natural gases’ presence and smell will only be momentary.

Although some do seem to not go away no matter what you do.

Up in space, as we know, there isn’t any air to carry it away.

There may be oxygen inside a space station, but it’s not being blown about by the winds of mother nature.

Instead, the air in a space station is constantly recycled by our breathing systems, so yeah, er, yuck!

If you fart in your spacesuit, it is going to get trapped in there with you for a long time.

(Video) Astronauts Reveal What Happens When You Fart In Space

Luckily, the part of the spacesuit where your backside lives is separate from your head which lives in a helmet.

So, the fart may get trapped in your suit, but it won’t rise to your helmet so that the rest of your day’s work is unpleasant.

If there is some kind of fire, then yes, farting is probably going to make it worse.

Besides, you cant take your helmet off!

Just like spraying deodorant through the flame of a lighter, the fire is going to get bigger and more volatile.

Any lingering farts in the air will also contribute to the fire’s strength.

So, astronauts need to be able to deal with fires quickly.

And if they do feel the need to release wind, maybe keep it in for a minute or two longer.

If you do need to fart in space, but you’ve done it twice already and you’re now a little self-conscious, then the best thing for you to do is exactly what you’d do in this situation back on Earth.

Go outside or go for a walk.

Not only will you be able to let some farts out outside of the station, but if anyone else is there, perhaps an alien passerby, they won’t hear it!

Air is required for sound waves to travel.

Up in space, there isn’t any air, so the sound of your loud farts can’t be heard!

Do Astronauts Fart More In Space?

Yes, astronauts have been known to be more frequent farters when up in space due to a lack of gravity.

Yes, it’s our old friend gravity again.

(Video) That Time Apollo 16 Astronauts Got the Farts

Who knew such a force that we take for granted on our home planet could have such a significant role to play in space.

As there isn’t much gravity in space, astronauts become weightless.

It is therefore quite difficult to burp as the gases we normally release are struggling to ascend to our mouth.

Instead, they need to find another way out, which is, yes, you guessed it, out the other end.

Would A Fart Move You In Space?

No, a fart wouldn’t move you in space, so no, your rear end is not your very own little jetpack!

Let’s start with farts first. Do they move? Well, we already know that they don’t move much due to the lack of airflow present to transport them.

However, it had to move to exit our body, didn’t it? It’s a sudden release of gases in a weightless environment, so surely it would propel us across the room at least a little?

Here’s the thing.

Yes, there would be a bit of momentum pushing you forward but it would still be too slight to rocket you to the other side of the space station.

If you wanted to have any chance of moving at least an inch by your anus’ doing, you would need to channel the fart down a narrow passage, like a funnel, for example.

This is because farts actually exit and spread everywhere very quickly.

That’s why everyone in the room seems to smell one around the same time.

The gases have spread out.

For your anus jetpack, that’s not helpful, as it weakens the force of the fart.

If the fart was channeled, then a stronger thrust would be generated.

(Video) Farting Scene In The Movie Rocketman

How Do Astronauts Stop Themselves From Farting In Space?

They can try to regulate their diet. They can try to hold it in. Ultimately, you can’t escape farting, so it is best to do it in a private location.

Unfortunately, you can’t just wind down the window to let the gases escape as you might do in the car.

So, astronauts have to keep on breathing in the same air, which means yes, keep breathing in the same farts from time to time.

Holding it in isn’t going to help. Eventually, it will just leak out of your body from wherever it can.

It’s therefore not worth giving yourself a stomach ache when it’s going to find a way out to your air supply anyway.

Specific space diets are used to minimise fart levels and they have been successful.

However, you can’t stop farting completely, as long as you’re consuming food.

Any foods that are known to send your anus into a disruptive and potentially dangerous repertoire have been banned by NASA for a long time.

These restricted foods include cabbage, broccoli, beans and many more. You know the others I’m talking about.

The usual culprits.

The restroom on a space station is probably also known as the designated farting spot.

Despite there being very little airflow in the space station, this is the place where there is the most ventilation, for obvious reasons.

Finally

Gravity really does like to change its behavior depending on where it finds itself.

What a cheeky little stinker!

Once again, you’ve found it to be the reason why such a harmless (debatable) activity on Earth can be a problem in space.

(Video) Haynes Baked Beans Astronaut Ad

Living with your peers for a long time up in space can be quite intense. You’re going to learn all of their habits and quirks.

You’re going to hear all about their lives and their family. You’re also probably going to smell their farts.

Sorry that you can’t use your anus like a jet pack.

I hope that wasn’t the only reason you were aspiring to be an astronaut if you were.

If you do go up there and happen to see a fire, the first thing you should do is?

No, not get the fire extinguisher. Make sure you’re not about to let rip.

And then there is burping. But that’s a topic for another time.

Wondering what else astronauts can and cannot do? Then my other guides may be of interest:

  • Can Astronauts Burp In Space?
  • Do Astronauts Shower In Space?
  • Do Astronauts Wash Their Clothes In Space?
  • How Do Astronauts Brush Their Teeth?

Can Astronauts Fart In Space? [The Strange Truth!] (1)

Chris Williamson

Hey, my name is Chris. I’m a passionate and seasoned astronomer who loves nothing more than observing the night sky. I also love researching, learning, and writing all things Space and the Universe. I created Astronomy Scope to share my knowledge, experience, suggestions, and recommendations of what I have learned along the way while helping anyone to get into and maximize their enjoyment of the hobby.

(Video) Farting in Space

FAQs

Can astronauts fart in space? ›

On Earth, farts are typically no big deal — smelly, harmless, and they quickly dissipate. But if you're an astronaut, every fart is a ticking time bomb. The gases in farts are flammable, which can quickly become a problem in a tiny pressurized capsule in the middle of space where your fart gases have no where to go.

Can you smell a fart in a space suit? ›

Therefore, the fart will not be smelled by the astronaut, although they may marinate in it for a time. When astronauts are not in the space suit and floating about, the fart smell is exaggerated by the lack of airflow from the recycled air used and its inability to mask any smell.

Can you feel pain in space? ›

Astronauts may have no trouble moving heavy objects in the weightlessness of space, but that doesn't mean that the experience isn't hard on their backs. Astronauts on long-duration spaceflights routinely report back pain, both during and after the flight.

Can u fart in your sleep? ›

People commonly fart in their sleep, although they usually are not aware of it. Research suggests pressure in the anal sphincter muscle 2fluctuates in cycles throughout the day. This muscle is more relaxed during sleep, and it controls whether or not gas present in the large intestine is released.

What happens if you cry in space? ›

Astronauts can't cry the same in space as they do on Earth.

Your eyes make tears but they stick as a liquid ball. In fact, they sting a bit. So — space tears don't shed." Unless an astronaut wipes that water away, tears in space can form a giant clump that can break free of your eye, as The Atlantic explained.

Would your blood boil in space? ›

First, the good news: Your blood won't boil. On Earth, liquids boil at a lower temperature when there's less atmospheric pressure; outer space is a vacuum, with no pressure at all; hence the blood boiling idea.

Do female astronauts wear bras in space? ›

But we can strike one unknown from our lists, as an intrepid Quora user boldly went where no Quora user had gone before -- and asked if female astronauts wear bras. The answer (according to one astronaut, at least) is "Yes": Astronauts spend more than two hours a day exercising.

How cold is space? ›

Space is very, very cold. The baseline temperature of outer space is 2.7 kelvins (opens in new tab) — minus 454.81 degrees Fahrenheit, or minus 270.45 degrees Celsius — meaning it is barely above absolute zero, the point at which molecular motion stops.

Does water freeze in space? ›

Does it freeze or boil? The surprising answer is it does both: first it boils and then it freezes! We know this because this is what used to happen when astronauts felt the call of nature while in space.

Are there any human bodies in space? ›

3 cosmonauts on the Soyuz 11 mission who died in 1971 when returning from a Soviet space station. Their return capsule suffered an accidental decompression. However, their bodies were returned to Earth since the capsule was fully automated. So there are currently no bodies in space.

What is a wet fart called? ›

Watery flatulence is when a fart feels wet because mucus or some watery stool passes out alongside gas.

Why do I fart so loud when I wake up? ›

Further, when you eat food, it stimulates the digestive system muscle activity that's suppressed when you sleep. 8 Getting up in the morning and starting your day may spur a bout of morning farts, especially if it's experienced with a routine daily bowel movement in the morning, too.

What happens when you hold in a fart? ›

Trying to hold it in leads to a build up of pressure and major discomfort. A build up of intestinal gas can trigger abdominal distension, with some gas reabsorbed into the circulation and exhaled in your breath. Holding on too long means the build up of intestinal gas will eventually escape via an uncontrollable fart.

Do female astronauts wear bras in space? ›

But we can strike one unknown from our lists, as an intrepid Quora user boldly went where no Quora user had gone before -- and asked if female astronauts wear bras. The answer (according to one astronaut, at least) is "Yes": Astronauts spend more than two hours a day exercising.

Why can't astronauts burp in space? ›

"You can't burp in space because the air, food and liquids in your stomach are all floating together like chunky bubbles," Hadfield replied on Twitter. "If you burp, you throw up into your mouth.

Would your blood boil in space? ›

First, the good news: Your blood won't boil. On Earth, liquids boil at a lower temperature when there's less atmospheric pressure; outer space is a vacuum, with no pressure at all; hence the blood boiling idea.

What does space smell like? ›

A succession of astronauts have described the smell as '… a rather pleasant metallic sensation ... [like] ... sweet-smelling welding fumes', 'burning metal', 'a distinct odour of ozone, an acrid smell', 'walnuts and brake pads', 'gunpowder' and even 'burnt almond cookie'.

What if a baby is born in space? ›

All of the fluids in our bodies are pulled downwards due to gravity, which is not possible in space. The individuals born there would develop bloated bodies and puffy faces. Since the heart doesn't have to work against gravity in space, it would atrophy and we would lose blood content, making us paler and weaker.

Do they drink alcohol in space? ›

Alcohol is not permitted onboard the International Space Station for consumption,” says Daniel G Huot, spokesperson for Nasa's Johnson Space Center. “Use of alcohol and other volatile compounds are controlled on ISS due to impacts their compounds can have on the station's water recovery system.”

Can astronauts smoke? ›

Astronauts can be smokers or non-smokers (in their normal life on Earth), as long as they take measures to protect their health while in space. For a smoker, this is a difficult habit to break, but it is a necessary restriction for the safety of all astronauts onboard the space station.

How cold is space? ›

Space is very, very cold. The baseline temperature of outer space is 2.7 kelvins (opens in new tab) — minus 454.81 degrees Fahrenheit, or minus 270.45 degrees Celsius — meaning it is barely above absolute zero, the point at which molecular motion stops.

Will a cell phone work in space? ›

Firstly, let's get the obvious out of the way: no, a smartphone can't make or receive calls in space, as it's reliant on ground-based antennas.

What happens to human waste in space? ›

All astronaut pee is collected and turned back into clean, drinkable water. Astronauts say that “Today's coffee is tomorrow's coffee!” Sometimes, astronaut poop is brought back to Earth for scientists to study, but most of the time, bathroom waste – including poop – is burned.

Can you freeze in space? ›

Acute exposure to the vacuum of space: No, you won't freeze (or explode) One common misconception is that outer space is cold, but in truth, space itself has no temperature. In thermodynamic terms, temperature is a function of heat energy in a given amount of matter, and space by definition has no mass.

Can human blood freeze? ›

Blood, which is a mix of many components, both cellular and chemical, behaves like many other salty (saline) solutions and freezes at between -2 to -3 degrees celsius.

Are there any human bodies in space? ›

3 cosmonauts on the Soyuz 11 mission who died in 1971 when returning from a Soviet space station. Their return capsule suffered an accidental decompression. However, their bodies were returned to Earth since the capsule was fully automated. So there are currently no bodies in space.

Does space have a end? ›

No, they don't believe there's an end to space. However, we can only see a certain volume of all that's out there. Since the universe is 13.8 billion years old, light from a galaxy more than 13.8 billion light-years away hasn't had time to reach us yet, so we have no way of knowing such a galaxy exists.

Does space have a color? ›

Because space is a near-perfect vacuum — meaning it has exceedingly few particles — there's virtually nothing in the space between stars and planets to scatter light to our eyes. And with no light reaching the eyes, they see black. —What color is the sunset on other planets?

Do you age in space? ›

In space, people usually experience environmental stressors like microgravity, cosmic radiation, and social isolation, which can all impact aging. Studies on long-term space travel often measure aging biomarkers such as telomere length and heartbeat rates, not epigenetic aging.

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