NASA Working on New Evaporation and Purification System


NASA researchers are striving continuously to make living on the ISS reliable and efficient. As of now they are working on a simple solution to handle water evaporation on the ISS. The collection and filtration of the water is vital to keeping the astronauts on board alive and healthy, not to mention hydrated. Though the process is complicated, but everything including sweat and urine as well as moisture from an astronaut’s breath can be collected and used as a general supply of water on the craft. The system is currently delicate and if anything goes wrong, system can fail entirely.

The current system separates gases and liquids for recycling process. Since these parts are movable, they are vulnerable to damage. Thus, NASA has established an investigating team to conduct a research on board of the ISS and this may lead to a simpler way of water recycling and removal of carbon dioxide.

The team is called the Capillary Structures for Exploration Life Support and it shall investigate the system in two parts: removal of carbon dioxide and evaporation. The evaporation system can possibly allow the full recovery of water expelled from an astronaut’s body in the form of urine. The capillary structures system will be filled and then monitoring will take place from the ground with time lapse pictures. The structures are set up for having different angles, heights, parameters, and geometries. These different parameters are varying across the structure to be able to get quantitative data of evaporation in low gravity.

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