Government-issued astronaut diapers

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Remember when that astronaut got busted for her ill intentions toward the other woman in her love triangle?

“No, that doesn’t ring a bell.”

The one who wore diapers on her road trip?

“Oh, yes! That astronaut!”

Everyone remembers the diapers. Everyone mocked the diapers. But I can tell you, as the mother of a toddler who has just gone through potty training, the diapers make complete sense. Whenever we leave the house now, I have to plan our itinerary very carefully to ensure my daughter will have bathroom access at least every two hours, whereas before she had a portable and disposable toilet. All that was required was a backpack to tote extra diapers around in. Now, I have to locate a public bathroom, repeatedly insist that she not touch anything, and hold her so she doesn’t fall in. It is laborious, unpredictable, and often more unsanitary than a soiled diaper.

Let’s forget for a moment this astronaut’s goal, which was to eliminate her competitor. The level of dedication she displayed is admirable. We should all be so single-minded and productive. Pit stops didn’t factor into her itinerary.

The thing us earth-dwellers didn’t seem to consider is that this woman was doing exactly what she was trained to do – wear government-issued astronaut diapers on missions. These astronauts are constantly carrying out complex, time-sensitive tasks – tasks that cost the US government millions of dollars per second. There’s no time for potty breaks. There’s no way you could get out of that bulky astronaut uniform quickly enough, anyway. Especially in zero gravity.

The only thing that doesn’t make sense to me about this story is the irony of an astronaut – someone used to traveling at upwards of 10,000 MPH in space – choosing to drive hundreds of miles instead of taking an airplane. That’s like depositing your check at the bank instead of uploading it electronically from the comfort of your own house.

Driving? Doesn’t make sense. Adult diapers? Makes complete sense.