Participating in the Lunar Loo Challenge 2020 organized by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the third-year Chinese primary school student Zy Shun won the first place in the junior category (under 11) with his unique design. His idea stands out among 897 works, competitors from 85 countries, becoming the glory of Malaysians.
The concept of 9-year-old Zy Shun’s winning work is to use a syringe to evacuate the air in the bottle to create a vacuum state in the bottle. After that, he extracts the waste of the astronauts without using electricity and engines.
Zy Shun’s interest in Science since young
Peirong Chen, Zy Shun’s mother, said in a telephone interview that Zy Shun, who was in the third grade of Binhua First School in Klang, was a curious baby since he was a child. He broke the casserole and asked to the end. This made him very curious about things around him, so his parents always look for novel things and new topics to satisfy his desire to learn.
During the interview, Chen said that Zy Shun received a solar system model on his 4th birthday, which started to ignite his interest in astronomy. Since then, he often reads children’s astronomy books, magazines, and even bedrooms decorated with solar system themes.
Jian Lihong, the father, also encouraged Zy Shun and accompany him to watch TV shows on astronomy topics, such as ‘The Martian’, ‘The First Man on the Moon’, and the National Geographic TV series. He even bought a mini telescope for him to learn to use.
NASA Lunar Toilet Challenge
According to Peirong Chen, Zy Shun is a loyal NASA fan and even subscribed to the NASA YouTube channel. His knowledge of astronomy is self-learned from books, magazines, and TV channels. In fact, he learned more than his parents.
His father learned of the above competition from NASA’s media and publicity department. Both of them encouraged Zy Shun to participate and discussed with the teacher of the science interest class.
Zy Shun considered that the toilets needed by astronauts can only be used in a microgravity environment. As the moon has only one-sixth of the earth’s gravity, it is best to dispose of excrement directly from the human body. Therefore, he wanted to make an improved version of the spacesuit toilet.
The 9-year-old boy learned how to pump air by stepping on the footboard and use a syringe to pump air to create a vacuum in the bottle to extract astronauts’ excrement into the bottle. This method does not even need to use electricity, nor does it require an engine.
It can be used by medical staff too
Zy Shun hopes that this design can not only help astronauts but also can be used for medical staff facing the inconvenience of protective clothing, especially in this pandemic. There is no need to constantly change protective clothing in emergencies. It can also replace the discomfort of wearing adult diapers. Reduce the burden on the medical staff.
Announcing the winners
Zy Shun received an email notification from NASA on the morning of the 22nd of last month. Then, he only found out that he has won the first prize on NASA’s official website at 9 pm. He was excited and surprised as he didn’t have much hope initially.
The winner will receive a certificate and the opportunity to participate in the long-distance video conference of the winner to socialize and share with the NASA team, as well as get NASA mysterious monopoly gifts.
When asked whether Zy Shun would develop into astronomy in the future, Chen said that it was up to her son to decide, because apart from astronomy, Zy Shun was deeply interested in other scientific subjects. Recently, he is active in studying biological sciences and wants to know more about the mysteries of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). She hopes that he can become a scientist who can benefit people and help create a better future for mankind.
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