The day after: NASA is recycling 98 percent of astronauts’ pee on the ISS into drinking water | Engadget

NASA has hit a technological milestone, announcing that the International Space Station’s Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) is now recycling 98 percent of all the water astronauts bring on board. Advanced dehumidifiers capture moisture from the station crew’s breaths and sweats, while the urine processor assembly recovers water from astronaut urine through vacuum distillation.

According to NASA, the distillation process produces water and a urine brine that still contains recoverable H20. Now, a new device can extract the remaining water in the brine, increasing the water recovery rate from 93 to 98%. If the idea makes you gag, it shouldn’t, says Jill Williamson, head of ECLSS water subsystems at NASA. The crew doesn’t drink urine; they are potable water that has been reclaimed, filtered and cleaned in such a way that it is cleaner than what we drink here on Earth. I pass.

Matt Smith

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