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Did You Know That the Atlantis Astronauts Are Testing a New Urine Filtration Device?

It seems like scientists are thinking of everything. Whether it be flat screens, smart phones, or computers, it seems that some type of new technology is always hitting the market. It’s not uncommon for people to get the latest gadget even when they don’t necessarily need it. Consumers likely won’t pay much attention to one of the newest inventions which is currently being tested by space shuttle astronauts. This device is capable of turning urine into a sports drink.

If you’re like most people, you’re probably thinking, “Yuck!” Who would want to drink urine even if it is filtered? Most of us wouldn’t drink urine unless our lives depended on it. Filtered urine is a big step into the future though. Currently human wastes generated in space are either sent back to Earth to be disposed of or released into the atmosphere where they rapidly turn to gases and are absorbed. One potential benefit of urine filtration is that it can eliminate problems with water scarcity in the future.

Urine isn’t actually being used currently though. Dirty water is being used instead. They want to learn whether the simple devices actually work in zero gravity. The results won’t be consumed either. They probably will in the future though, just not yet. Spacecraft and the International space station are fitted with water filtration systems that require the use of electricity. However, electricity is certainly a scarce resource in space. Instead of relying on electricity, the devices utilize forward osmosis instead. They’ll need to conduct more testing if they want to see if the resulting liquid will taste good and if it’s safe for them to drink.

It will probably be a long while before those of us living on Earth will be forced to recycle urine as drinking water, but as the world population continues to soar, and our resources continue to dwindle, it isn’t beyond the realm of possibility that it might happen someday. Perfecting this type of technology may well become vital to the future survival of our species.Doc No.sdlkh-sdAE

Kristie Brown writes on a variety of topics from health to technology. Check out her websites on Portable water purification system and Water filtration system

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