A Taste Of Space Life: Urine Recycling
SCOTT SIMON, host: There's an experiment aboard Atlantis, an osmotic bag to turn urine into something drinkable. The osmotic bag is two plastic sacks with filters into which astronauts inject their own waste.
(SOUNDBITE OF THEME FROM 2001, A SPACE ODYSSEY)
SIMON: As scientist Howard Levine says, this could be a first step toward recapturing the humidity from our urine and recycling it and making it drinkable. He doesn't make it sound much like champagne now, does he?
The fluid they produce will be more like a gel than water, which makes even some astronauts who eat and drink nasty things in survival training go, ew. One of the Atlantis astronauts is scheduled to test the essence of the osmotic bag toward the end of their flight. One small sip for man, one giant slurp for mankind.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.