Alarming headline: Astronauts tinker with urine-to-water machine
Even more alarming lede:

Astronauts tinkered Sunday with a troublesome piece of equipment designed to help convert urine and sweat into drinkable water, which is vital to allowing the international space station crew to double to six.


  1. Since we’re not exactly mining water from the asteroids, and the cost per gallon to lift water up to the ISS is probably pretty ludicrous, getting a machine like this up and running is a worthwhile endeavor.

  2. “tinkered” or “tinkled”?

    So, the ISS is pISS-poor because the “whiz-bang” technology isn’t working?

    We could import water from Mars, but we might as well import it from the Earth, but that costs $40,000 a gallon. Aside from the wastes in the actual fluid, urine is sterile, so if you gotta, it’s better than seawater.

    And according to Wired Magazine, the filtered water is better than tap water. And yes, it is being put to use down here, to filter contaminated ground water.

    (hmm… imagine your bathroom with a bidet and a toilet. One purifies and recycles the urine for later flushing, one connects to the sewer.)


  3. From Kyle Baker’s WHY I HATE SATURN (1990), page 87:

    Laura: NASA developed a urine purification system for the astronauts. The idea was scrapped, though. Even though the process made urine safe to drink, they didn’t think the astronauts could deal with it mentally.

    Anne: Astronauts are such fucking prima donnas.

    Laura: Yeah, it seems that when you send a guy into the void of space, with inhumanly cramped quarters, artificial air, and no gravity or solid food, he’s not really emotionally equipped to drink his own waste.

    Anne: Oh man, I’m gonna have some strange nightmares behind this.

    Once again, Kyle Baker is ahead of the rest of us when it comes to anticipating what’s coming our way next, or something like that.

    David Seidman

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