Titanium toilets

Titanium was named for the Titans of Greek mythology, following the naming of uranium after Uranus, father of the Titans. It shares with the Titans the property of strength, and in combination with its low density and heat resistance, this makes it ideal for use in aircraft and spacecraft, often alloyed with aluminium, zirconium, nickel or vanadium.

Many parts of the International Space Station are made from titanium, most notably its new $23m toilet. Installed in October 2020, it is 40% lighter than the previous toilet, 65% smaller, and shaped to be easier for women to use. Titanium also has the advantage of being resistant to acid corrosion by urine. Once the toilet has been fully tested on the ISS, it will fly to the moon on NASA’s Orion capsules.

With thanks to Andy Brunning’s marvellous Compound Interest for this pattern idea.

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