Recycling seems to be the order of the day. Now we have recycled urine. On Tuesday NASA officials of a solar array-rotating gear and a recycling system that turns urine into drinkable water declared that they would ramp up a six-unit crew next year. This is a testimony to the fact that the battery of tests shows positive results. The International Space Station is all geared to face the challenge.
Space station program manager Mike Suffredini said that now the plan is ready for action as the in-space repairs by station and Endeavour shuttle astronauts to the urine recycler and a massive starboard-side gear have been put through. The plan is to double the crewmembers to six.
“I would say we’re on the right track,” Suffredini said. “We’ve made a major step towards a six-person crew with just one flight.” they proudly displayed the recycled water on television and called it “yesterdays coffee”. It is jokingly said “yesterday’s coffee into today’s coffee.”
This is no mean achievement as it provides vital support to larger crews overboard. It substantially reduces the amount of portable water one needs to carry aboard a space ship. That saved space, about the equivalent of about 743 gallons (2,850 liters) per year, frees up room for other cargo and supplies
The Endeavour will be giving six quart-size (1-liter) samples of the recycled water for analysis. It is expected to take three months of testing.
“You have to remember that this is serial number 001 for one our brand new technologies which we’re testing out here on space station,” said Endeavour astronaut Don Pettit. “So you can expect to have a few hiccups.”