Water is a Precious Resource, Especially in Space

I have been into astronomy since I was a child. My interest grew and expanded to the realm of astronauts in outer space. I wanted to know everything about them as people, including their education, hobbies, and families, and also about how they lived on less during space travel. I know that science has made it more than possible to exist normally on dried, but edible, food and recycled water. The space race is expensive but in the long run it is a boon to mankind as it has impacted so many fields such as engineering, medicine, geology, and more. Something as simple the reverse osmosis systems for water purification that I was reading about at https://www.homewaterhealth.com/best-reverse-osmosis-system-reviews/ are thanks to the geniuses who have sent men to Mars.

I imagine that taking anything into space is cumbersome, takes up a lot of room, and is difficult to maneuver. It is therefore expensive. Did you know that water is one of the heaviest elements on board the space station? Of course, to replenish supplies, it is not economical or reasonable to ship tanks to the ISS. Therefore, you will find a complex water system in place to provide sufficient drinkable water right on board. What happens is that the astronauts make do with a filtered mixture of recycled shower water, old astronaut sweat, and pee. I am not kidding. If you can desalt ocean water, you can filter just about any liquid. I read that the station keeps about 530 gallons in reserve for emergency purposes. You can see that the engineers had to think it all out. As my blog title states it, water is a precious commodity, especially in space.

According to the woman who manages the ISS system from the Marshall Flight Center in Alabama, the recycled water is just fine. It tastes like bottled. The only flaw in the system is the psychological impact of knowing of what your water is made. It is not so bad that some of it comes from condensate out of the surrounding air. Astronauts are well trained not to balk at such conditions. They know it is all about waste and conservation. If they can eat dried, tasteless food, they can drink this new age water. Scientists are no doubt working on more advanced forms of reverse osmosis to make the space water more palatable.

What is interesting is that the ISS is split into a US and a Russian section, and they each have a different water system. That was news to me. What was more heartening was the fact that the NASA astronauts often go over to the Russian side for the urine they don’t use. I hope you savor this little tidbit of information. I will add that NASA has started using iodine to disinfect water, but it has to be filtered to prevent thyroid issues. Russia, on the other hand, uses silver to disinfect its water since 1986—when Mir was launched.