- On July 16, 2019
What’s funkier than an astronaut’s underwear…
How Heat and Sweat Were Managed By Lunar Explorers
July 17, 2019 – This week marks the 50thanniversary of the Apollo 11 launch to the moon. Plenty is written about the people, machinery, and politics of this accomplishment. Little attention is devoted to the personal comfort inside the suits worn by the first lunar explorers. Were they hot, cold, neither, both? As the makers of SwampButt Underwear devote their careers to evaluating and making sweat wicking underwear, it was a natural question.
The answers found were enlightening. Mostly because the qualities of evaporation were not available in space or on the moon. According to the NASA paper titled, ‘Regulation of Thermal Sweating in EVA Space Suits’ ‘Among the many functions which any space suit must fulfill are those of providing means for the regulation of temperature and humidity within physiological limits.’
Creative and Complex
Garments like the suits worn by the American Astronauts on the moon had to protect the wearers from the vacuum of space, meteorites, sharp rocks, and radiation and on at least one occasion a golf ball. They also had to supply breathing air, allow movement, visibility, supply water, dispose of ‘used water’ and provide visibility all while being at least somewhat comfortable. Oh, since no one had ever visited the moon, there was no template to follow. While garments like SwampButt Underwear here on earth can leverage evaporative cooling to reduce visible butt sweat the astronauts could not, mostly because there was no atmosphere. Mostly.
Instead designers used chilled water to carry heat away from the astronauts’ body, the same way engine coolant in auto radiators works on cars and trucks. The one-piece, extra-vehicular space was worn over a cooling garment that had a series of polyvinyl tubes held by spandex and circulated water to keep Neil and Buzz cool, or at least not overheated.
All this was held in place with a layer of nylon that was covered with neoprene. Neoprene is the same material used for wet suits that divers often use. Also added was a layer of sturdy nylon to keep the atmosphere inside the suit and space on the outside in the event of a small meteorite hitting the suit exterior. Did it work? Mostly. But the nature and use of all garments in space evolved.
Skip Ahead to Present Day Astronauts
Presently, people on the International Space Station (ISS) rotate their clothes, then get rid of all of them. “Turns out there is no washing machine or dryer on the ISS,” said flat earth believer and spokesman for SwampButt Underwear Nick Heraldson. “I hate to think about the ‘stank’ aboard that thing, yuck.” The daily uniform is worn for three to six months, while exercise clothing—T-shirts and shorts made of more breathable polyester—lasts no more than two weeks due to concerns regarding sweat, bacteria, odor and infection. “Polyester is great for wicking sweat, that’s why we use it in SwampButt Underwear,” Heraldson said. “But it also tends to hold odors which is why we use a special treatment in our garments.”
Less of a Stank In The Future?
Sweaty bottoms and over-heated butt cracks on earth or in orbit can generate a very bad smell for a very long time. Unlike passengers on the ISS, SwampButt Performance Made in the USA garments are also made with ‘Microblok’ technology to prevent stinky drawers or from the latin; ubi foetidum. MicroBlok inhibits the growth of bacteria on treated surfaces of products, greatly reducing stains, odors, and product deterioration. MicroBlok inhibits the growth of bacteria, fungi, molds, yeasts and other microbes on treated surfaces of products, greatly reducing stains, odors and product deterioration. MicroBlok has undergone rigorous laboratory testing.
These tests measure the inhibition of bacteria, fungi, molds and other microbes on the tested plastic substrates. It’s an ideal inhibitor for use in products subject to high humidity such as those intended for kitchen and bath environments as well as outdoor uses including furniture and decking. Additional product uses include sponges, bath mats, wire and cable insulation, plastic gloves, scrub brushes and footwear.’ “If there is a funkier spot or warmer or more humid place than an astronauts’ butt crack, I don’t want to know about it,” Heraldson declared.
Unmanned cargo vehicles visit the ISS throughout the year, bringing new clothing and returning to Earth with the astronauts’ “laundry,” which burns up on re-entry. This begs the question, what happens on off planet missions? “Elon Musk isn’t sending any cargo ships to Mars to pick up the laundry,” Heraldson concluded. “In the future, lunar and Martian explorers will need the material science and chemistry like we use in SwampButt Underwear will be needed to stem the stank of astro-butts.”
About SwampButt Underwear
SwampButt Underwear is a real company that make a product designed to help stem the scourge of visible butt sweat. SwampButt Underwear is trademarked in the U.S. and foreign countries. We paid a lot for it so please do not use it without permission.
CAPTION: Future astronauts’ off world missions will have to manage the laundry differently than it is now.