Water is one of the most crucial provisions an astronaut will need to live and work in space. To help them save this precious commodity, research engineers at NASA’s Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., are developing dependable ways of recycling water. Credit: NASA/Eric James

NASA targets water recycling system for rapid development

February 12, 2013

Water is one of the most crucial provisions an astronaut will need to live and work in space. Whether orbiting Earth, working at a lunar base or traveling to Mars, astronauts must save as much water as possible. That’s why NASA has targeted its water recycling technology for rapid development.

On the International Space Station, each crewmember is allocated about two liters of water daily. Such conservation means the crew must stretch the ration by collecting, cleaning and reusing wastewater, condensate in the air and urine. For future deep space missions, astronauts will need even greater amounts of water.

To help them save this precious commodity, research engineers at NASA’s Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., are following several different but complementary avenues to develop dependable ways of recycling water.

“We are very excited about the advanced water processor technology development work being done at NASA Ames,” said Steve Gaddis, manager for NASA’s Game Changing Development Program at the agency’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. ” We’re anticipating a system capable of treating all exploration wastewater—including hygiene and laundry—at a recovery rate of greater than 95 percent.”

Read more: NASA targets water recycling system for rapid development — phys.org.

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