Movies - TV
Avenue 5's Orbiting Poop Shield Is Rooted In Real Science
The HBO comedy series "Avenue 5" is coming back with a second season on October 10th, 2022, and along with it comes the glittering cloud of poop that orbits the ship. That cloud came from a now sealed leak in the giant tube surrounding the ship that holds human waste to “shield” the passengers, and while it makes for a humorous premise, it is based on hard science.
Series creator Armando Iannucci explained how they got the idea from talking to scientists at the jet propulsion laboratory in Pasadena about long-term space travel. The response they got was: "The water content of waste is a good protector, and dehydrated fecal matter would also protect from radiation, just even as a barrier to cosmic rays, giving them something more to hit."
When asked about this waste water "wet suit" and the orbiting coffins, during the research process for this article, Erin Macdonald, PhD of Astrophysics, who serves as the scientific advisor to “Star Trek,” replied, "Yes, no, that works." Citing that it would certainly provide protection and renewable resources for a long voyage, such as a trip to Mars.