Earth's Atmosphere Great for Dirty Laundry Disposal, Astronaut Chris Hadfield Says

"We just wear our clothes until they wear out," Hadfield says on "Conan."

By Timothy Weisberg
|  Wednesday, Nov 13, 2013  |  Updated 3:02 PM EDT
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What astronaut needs a washer and dryer when there's a natural incinerator–Earth's atmosphere–at one's disposal?

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield aired his dirty laundry on TBS' "Conan" show Monday night, revealing that astronauts on the International Space Station can't afford to spare water for washing clothes in orbit, NBC News reported.

"We just wear our clothes until they wear out," Hadfield told O'Brien.

Hadfield, who is on the talk-show circuit promoting his new book, "An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth," explained that astros throw their tattered and worn out laundry into a disposable cargo spacecraft. Once that fills up, the trash-filled spacecrafts are undocked from the station and dropped down into Earth's atmosphere, where they are incinerated.

"Wait a minute!" O'Brien told Hadfield. "You guys on the space station are throwing your dirty underwear out the window and it's raining down on us?"

Hadfield responded by having the audience visualize a bright sunbeam coming across your living room. Those little particles of dust floating around in the beam of light?

"Yeah that's my underwear," he said.

Watch Hadfield talk about his dirty undies and assess actress Sandra Bullock's sporty space underwear in the movie "Gravity." 

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