Friday, February 10, 2006

NASA Turning Water Into Oxygen Authentic NASA Toys and Replicas
A device built by NASA for the International Space Station could allow for future colonists on other worlds to develop breathable oxygen from water.

(Red Orbit) NASA is preparing to launch an oxygen generation system to the International Space Station. The system uses water to generate breathable oxygen for crew members. Life support systems like this are necessary to support future long-duration missions to the moon, Mars and beyond. [...]

The system will also help replace oxygen lost during experiments and airlock depressurization. Once activated, the oxygen generation system may daily provide up to 20 pounds of oxygen.

The device needs little monitoring and during normal operating periods develops up to 12 pounds of oxygen daily. This is enough breathable oxygen for six people, which is good news for future space travelers everywhere.

(Red Orbit) "Advancing life-support technology will become increasingly important as we pursue missions to the moon and Mars," said Bob Bagdigian, project manager at Marshall's Center for the Regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System.

The oxygen generation system is one of two primary components in the station's regenerative environmental control and life support system. The other component, the water recovery system, is planned for shipment to Kennedy early next year, once testing and design modifications are completed.

The water purification system basically recycles wastewater (i.e. urine, etc.) which will help reduce costs. This could potentially be coupled with the Oxygen device, as its primary function is separating the hydrogen from the two oxygen molecules.

As more devices like these are developed, sending humans to other worlds will become less burdensome.

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