NASA is sending Tide detergent to space. Tide partners with NASA to create eco-friendly detergent for astronauts and help save water on Earth. The new partnership will help keep astronauts’ spacesuits clean, even if they travel to Mars.
The Proctor & Gamble brand along with the scientists of NASA have created a fully degradable detergent that will clean clothes without wasting water. With this new technological breakthrough, the company is now hoping to develop friendlier detergents and fabric care products for cities that face water scarcity.
Currently, astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) normally get rid of their spacesuits only after a couple of days of wear. These are then burnt and the astronauts get a fresh supply. Now, although this model has worked for missions in low-Earth orbit, the method will not quite work when the saturants go to Mars.
Three-year Mars Mission
Focusing on the three-year Mars mission, astronauts would require everything handy, including 500 pounds of clothing per space pilot if it’s not washable. Tides partnership with NASA focuses on developing a special formula for space detergent with long-duration missions in mind, as well as a space-friendly washing machine.
Shailesh Jejurikar, CEO of P&G’s Fabric and Home Care Division, in an interview, said, “Scientific breakthroughs always start from a very limited application, but when we get that breakthrough, the ability to use it to solve today’s problems on Earth is going to be phenomenal.”
The scientists at Tide are working vigorously to come up with different ways for astronauts to do laundry in space, including developing a new detergent formula. Tide will be sending experiments up to the ISS to test the new product, as well as some classics like Tide To Go pens and wipes, as part of its “Mission PGTide” (P&G Telescience Investigation of Detergent Experiments).
At the start of 2021, Tide announced its goal to cut its greenhouse gas emissions to half by 2030. P&G is a founding member of the 50L Home Coalition, which aims to work on challenges of water scarcity and climate change by cutting down individual water use from 500 liters to 50 liters per day.