Tide and NASA Sign Agreement For Product Testing In Space
Tide has signed a Space Act Agreement with NASA to help in the development of laundry detergent solutions and technology development in space. Under the agreement, NASA may test and study Tide cleaning solutions in space.
The study could have potential on-planet implications like innovative solutions for resource and environmental challenges on Earth. Aligning with Tide’s decade-long sustainability commitment, Ambition 2030, Tide will strive to bring off-planet learnings back to everyday consumer products.
Currently, astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) wear clothing several times before replacing with a new set. Clothing is delivered to the station through resupply shipment opportunities. The limited cargo capacity makes the practice of replenishing the clothing supply challenging for deep space missions, such as Artemis Moon missions and a crewed roundtrip Mars mission. Without a laundry solution, 160 pounds of clothing per crew member per year are launched to ISS. Human roundtrip missions to Mars could be two to three years in length.
Major challenges for off-Earth laundering include ingredient safety and compatibility with NASA life support systems, and the limited amount of water available per wash load and the requirement that the wash water be purified back to drinking-quality water. To combat these challenges, Tide has developed a fully degradable detergent, specifically designed for use in space to solve malodor, cleanliness and stain removal problems for washable items used during deep space missions, while being suitable for use in a close-loop water system.
Onboard a 2022 cargo launch to the space station, “Mission PGTide” (P&G Telescience Investigation of Detergent Experiments), teams will test the stability of cleaning ingredients under microgravity conditions and exposure to the radiation levels experienced in space in partnership with the ISS U.S. National Laboratory and SEOPS.
In addition, the stain removal ingredients and performance will be tested onboard the ISS through experiments with Tide To Go Wipes and Tide To Go Pens.
"The ISS National Lab is excited to work with the P&G team once again as they push the limits of their research and development onboard the orbiting laboratory,” says Dr. Michael Roberts, Acting Chief Scientist for the ISS National Lab.
“Through private-sector utilization of the space station, companies like P&G can conduct investigations in ways not possible on Earth to develop new consumer products, enhance existing products, and better understand processes that further business models both on the ground and in low Earth orbit. We look forward to this first investigation of Tide in Space and hope that many more will soon follow."
Valued at roughly $100 billion, cleaning the International Space Station is quite the task. Read more about the process here.