NASA Water Conservation

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NASA Water Conservation Water on the Space Station has to be carefully monitored and conserved. The astronauts have to be very scarce with there water. There are many measurements and precautions that have to be made to save water while in space.

        On the Space Station, the water pressure will be about half what you might experience in a typical household. They don't use faucets on the Station; they use washcloths. It's much more efficient. If you're an astronaut, you'll wet the washcloth with a spray nozzle and then use the cloth to wash your hands. Using a wet cloth, the crew can wash their hands with less than one-tenth the water that people typically use on Earth. Instead of using 50 liters to take a shower, the average on Earth, a Space Station shower will use less than 4 liters.

"We have to recycle," says Jim. "There's already a Russian-built water processor in orbit that collects humidity from the air.

Here at Marshall we're building a regenerative system that will be able to recycle almost every drop of water on the station and support a crew of seven with minimal resupplies." The Marshall system Jim is talking about is the Space Station's Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS), planned to join up with the Space Station in October 2005. The ECLSS Water Recycling System will reclaim water from the crew's urine and wash water, and from the air. Not even research animals are excluded. "Lab animals on the Station breathe and urinate, too, and we plan to reclaim their waste products along with the crew's. A full complement of 72 rats would equal about one human in terms of water reclamation," says Layne Carter. Even plants aboard the Station add moisture to the air. It might sound unappetizing, but...