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The International Space Station Is Already Turning Urine And Sweat Into Drinking Water – Science

The International Space Station Is Already Turning Urine And Sweat Into Drinking Water – Science

NASA has achieved a technical goal of transforming manned space missions. According to the space agency, the International Space Station’s life support and environmental control system is now able to recycle about 98% of all the water taken on board by astronauts. The tools used are even able to capture moisture caused by the team’s sweat and puffs.

One of the subsystems of this new structure is dedicated to urine recycling. NASA explains that its accompanying distillation process is capable of extracting water from the liquid, allowing it to reach a recovery rate of 98% of the water on the International Space Station. Previously, the value was around 93/94%.

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“It’s a very important step in the evolution of life support systems,” said Christopher Brown, a NASA member in charge of the team that manages these same systems. “Ninety-eight percent of all water on board is kept in an endless recycling cycle. That’s an amazing feat,” he said.

Jill Williamson, director of water subsystems at EEI, confirms that the filtration process is similar to what happens in distribution networks in large cities. “The crew doesn’t drink urine, but water that’s been extracted, filtered, and cleaned, so it’s purer than what we drink on land,” Williamson said.

The director adds that systems like this will be increasingly necessary for NASA’s missions beyond Earth’s orbit. “The less water and oxygen we carry, the more science can be incorporated into the vehicle,” he said. “Renewable and safe systems mean teams don’t have to worry about them and so they can focus on the real goal of their missions.”

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