NASA: Spacecraft Water Sustainability through Nanotechnology [STTR_19_P1]


Water recovery from wastewater sources is key to long duration human exploration missions. Without substantial water recovery, life support system launch weights are prohibitively large. Regenerative systems are utilized on the ISS to recycle water from humidity condensate and urine, but the Urine Processor and Water Processor Assemblies contain rotary systems and produce brines (Distillation Assembly), utilize non-regenerable consumables (Multi-Filtration Beds) and operate at high temperature and pressures (Catalytic Reactor). To stabilize urine and protect components from biofouling and precipitation, a toxic pretreatment formula is added to collected urine. Simple measurements of water composition are made during flight, including conductivity, total organic carbon and iodine concentration. For determination of ionic or organic species in water and wastewater, samples must be returned to earth.

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