part of the solid waste
disposal system (space toilet
) on board the space shuttle
Solid Waste floats in space. A conventional toilet cannot flush without gravity. The slinger uses a vacuum to pull the feces into a spinning blade that spreads it onto the walls of the container, to be stored until landing. This uses the principle of "shit hitting the fan."
In an early case of one of the early shuttle launches, the slinger was installed backwards, meaning it carved up the astronaut's waste, and...ummmm...sorta hurled it back at him. He assumed he pushed the wrong button, and cleaned it up without mentioning it. Then the next astronaut used it, with the same results. He was not happy. Mission control, after a laugh, gave instructions how to reverse the machine.