So here I am—drinking Martini Rosso with lots of ice, sun licking my cheeks in a NYC terrace—reading that in space they are drinking water recycled from urine for the first time ever. And as you can see, they love it.
It just happened in the International Space Station, where the new urine recycling system is now fully armed and operational. According to flight engineer Mike Barrat, this is great:
This has been the stuff of science fiction. Everybody's talked about recycling water in a closed loop system, but nobody's ever done it before. Here we are today with the first round of recycled water. We're really happy for this day and for the team that put this together. This is the kind of technology that will get us to the moon and farther.
In fact, without this system, any long trip up there—not just going up and then down like in the Apollo missions—would be impossible. Humans need water, and water takes a lot of space, so we need a way to recycle any waste liquid into drinkable water.
So if we want to send people to the stars, this is the only way to do it. And actually, it is not really that gross. Think about all the crap that tap water has: Chemicals, germs, and all kinds of ugly things lurking in the pipes and reservoirs. Up there, the water is as pure as it can be.
OK, for once, I'm glad I'm not an astronaut. [UPI—Thanks Genevieve]