NASA, the United States space agency has partnered with Tide to go detergent brand, a product of Procter&Gamble to keep spacesuits of astronauts fresh, clean, and tidy. Procter&Gamble and NASA have now created a detergent that could clean clothes without water, and this degradable detergent could solve the problem of water scarcity here on earth.
Fully degradable detergent that can be used without water
Over the next decade, astronauts at the International Space Station (ISS) will test this detergent, along with Tide to Go pens and wipes at the ISS, and it could help astronauts to determine the usage of these products in future missions to the moon and Mars.
Apart from benefitting astronauts, the development of this new detergent could help people on earth as well, especially at this time when water scarcity is a major problem due to factors like climate change. As a quarter of the world's population is facing water scarcity, detergents like these could help save a lot of water in the future.
"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," said Shailesh Jejurikar, chief executive officer of P&G's fabric and home care division.
Procter&Gamble's partnership with NASA is non-reimbursable, which means each party should bear the cost of its participation.
Tide cleaning the astronaut suits
A crew member at the International Space Station usually receives 160 pounds of clothes per year through resupply shipments, and cleaning and maintaining them is often a Himalayan task, especially due to the limited supply of water.
"It's actually an extremely tough cleaning challenge. Astronauts, to stay fit, need to work out a couple of hours every day to manage their health. And if you're working out two to three hours every day, it's going to be sweaty," added Jejurikar.
This is not the first time that Procter&Gamble is initiating steps to betterment the environmental conditions on planet earth. Earlier this year, Tide had set a goal to cut its greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030.