As the space shuttle program winds down NASA and it’s partners plan for the final launches and for giving the International Space Station (ISS) what it needs to continue as a meaningful platform for science. Tariq Malik highlights NASA’s plans for expanding life support functions in the article Space Station Prepares for Population Boost on MSNBC.com.
So what is critical to a life support system? Waste recycling. Not only is urine on the ISS filtered for drinking water (really, it is more pure H20 than what we Earthlings drink from the tap — or plastic bottles), the recycled water from the ISS environment is also split into oxygen and hydrogen to provide the O2 for astronauts/cosmonauts to breath. Therefore the new equipment to be sent up on the last shuttle missions will increase the capacity for turning urine into breathable air. Puts things in perspective, doesn’t it? After all the Earth is really just a large space station also. What are we drinking and breathing here? Think about it.