T-41: Clean Water in Space and on Earth

Water behaves unusually in the microgravity of the Space Station.

Because it costs thousands of dollars to send every pound of water sent to space, NASA works hard to recycle every drop it can. On the International Space Station, wastewater, sweat and even urine are recycled and reused. NASA engineers work with private companies to create better systems for clean, drinkable water for astronauts in space. Commercial versions of these systems that quickly and affordably cleanse any readily available water are benefiting people on Earth who live in remote or developing areas where water is scarce or contaminated.

NASA logo with the blue circle replaced with EarthFuture long-duration missions to the Moon and Mars will likely harvest, filter and purify water from sub-surface ice. NASA space technologies we develop to do all of this will likely find applications on our planet too.