Astronauts to turn urine into drinking water
In the spirit of National Recycling week, NASA will be sending up a water recycling device to the International Space Station that will recycle urine into drinking water.
This coincides with the move to double the number of astronauts onboard the Space Station, and blind tests reported only a faint taste of iodine could be detected.
"It is just as refreshing as any other kind of water. I've got some in my fridge," he added. "It tastes fine to me."
NASA's 124th shuttle mission is due to launch at 7:55 p.m. EST on Friday from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. And delivery of the $250 million wastewater recycling gear is among the mission’s primary goals.
Pending no technical issues, NASA managers told the launch team on Friday morning to fuel the shuttle for liftoff, a three-hour operation to pump 500,000 gallons (1.9 million liters) of liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen into the spaceship's tank for the 8.5-minute climb into orbit.
Without any hitches, the shuttle should arrive at the space station on Sunday so astronauts could begin 11 to 12 days of home improvements.
Endeavour will also be carrying two small bedrooms, the station's first refrigerator, new exercise gear, and perhaps most important for a growing crew - a second toilet.
"With six people you really do need to have a two-bathroom house. It's a lot more convenient and a lot more efficient," said Endeavour astronaut Sandra Magnus, who will take over as a space station flight engineer from Greg Chamitoff, who’s been aboard the outpost since June.
NASA wants to make sure the water recycling system is working well before adding another three astronauts to the station's crew.
Would you drink your own urine if it had been recycled like this?