The marvels of science never seem to disappoint, particularly when it comes to space exploration. In a rather remarkable feat, NASA has revealed that it has devised a method to recycle up to 98 percent of all water brought on board by astronauts.
As part of the International Space Station’s Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS), the technology includes “advanced dehumidifiers” that will capture crew members breath and moisture output as they carry their daily tasks. Moreover, and just as impressive, ECLSS will also include a “Urine Processor Assembly”, yes you read that correctly, which will distill the urine of astronauts into drinkable water.
The latest advancements will prove vital as humans seek to further explore the moon, as well as larger expeditions to Mars and beyond. “This is a very important step forward in the evolution of life support systems,” said NASA’s Christopher Brown, who currently helps manage the ISS’s life support systems. “Let’s say you collect 100 pounds of water on the station. You lose two pounds of that and the other 98 percent just keeps going around and around. Keeping that running is a pretty awesome achievement.”
It would naturally repulse many to think they’d have to drink their own urine in the future, however, ECLSS water subsystems manager Jill Williamson, assures skeptics that not only is the crew drinking normal filtered water, but that it is “cleaner than what we drink here on Earth.”
Ultimately, the less water is needed to ship to space will only result in more opportunities to conduct missions in the last frontier.
In related news, Virgin Galactic finally sets date for first commercial spaceflight.
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