Nothing like a fresh glass of urine in the morning! Last week NASA sent up a gift to the International Space Station, and it could have astronauts literally drinking their pee with a twist of sweat and a dash of shaving cream.
A new water purification system will save NASA huge amounts of money once hooked up and ready to go. Currently the cost to ship a pint of fresh water to space is around $10,000. The new system will drastically reduce the fresh shipments by making use of existing liquids already in space.
Soon the new “Water Recovery System” will take in fluids used in showering, shaving, tooth brushing, hand washing, water vapor and sweat from inside space suits, and yes even urine, and produce fresh, clean, clear water – water that is actually more pure than the stuff that comes out of your kitchen faucet.
Recycling water and oxygen is critical to sustaining life in space, which makes this is an important step forward.
I have seen shows where raw sewage is taken and purified to produce water that is cleaner than anything you’d get from your tap, but this still disgusts me. It’s entirely mental – I’m sure that if someone gave me two glasses, one with tap water, and one with recycled urine, I would probably find the old pee tastes better, but still, it’s a difficult concept to swallow.