SpaceX sent a Christmas package to astronauts at the International Space Station on Wednesday, including presents, turkey, and laundry detergent.
The detergent, manufactured by Proctor and Gamble, is part of an experiment to see how effectively it can wash laundry in space. The experiment was announced in June in a press release.
Astronauts currently wear clothes several times before they are entirely replaced with new ones sent from Earth. If the experiment is successful, the detergent could allow astronauts to wash their clothes for subsequent wearing, which would come in handy on long trips to Mars in the future.
WATCH: MICROCHIP EMBEDDED UNDER SKIN CAN BE SCANNED FOR COVID VACCINE STATUS
"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," the press release said.
"Once you start having extended trips out in space, laundry is a must-have," Mark Sivik, senior director and research fellow at Proctor and Gamble, told Space.com. "What we've developed here is fully degradable and designed to work within the space station's closed-loop system."
NASA estimated that without the ability to do laundry in space, astronauts would need 500 pounds of clothing each to make it to Mars.
CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER
The company plans to include stain removal products for the astronauts sometime next year, the press release said.
NASA says it plans to return humans to the moon by 2025 and send humans to Mars by 2037.