Astronauts to test urine-recycling bag

Urine is a liquid waste product of the body secreted by the kidneys by a process of filtration from blood.

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station have been drinking water that has been recycled from their urine, sweat and water that condenses from exhaled air for some time now. They use a recycling machine that needs an external power source.

Now astronauts are trialling a textbook-sized kit that converts urine into drinkable water. Soldiers already use similar technology to filter out parasites, bacteria, viruses and other contaminants from dirty fluids, including urine, but NASA’s adapted baggie system has yet to prove itself in space. This new space-ready water conversion kit won’t need an external power source because it relies on a passive property of fluids called forward osmosis. Learn more here.


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