NASA just recycled 98% of all astronaut pee and sweat on the ISS (engineers are thrilled)

That is a good achievement for missions to the Moon and beyond.
But, food is another issue. There is some progress on that front, See https://www.cnn.com/2023/06/21/business/cultivated-meat-us-approval/index.html .
But that is nowhere close to being able to recycle poop as effectively as this 98% value for pee (and sweat and bad breath).
Clearly a distant colony in space is going to need to turn waste back into resources, effectively, efficiently and reliably. The ancient Chinese had a system where human waste went into ponds that grew all sorts of algae, which was eaten by several species of fish, which were then eaten by people. We will need to make a more technologically based system to do the same thing, running on sunlight, just as the ancient Chinese system did, but probably not dependent of gravity or macro animals.
 
Jan 28, 2023
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This article is an obvious sign of how low-tech a society we are when we have to drag ourselves for months and even years within the planetary part of the solar system and recycle our waste on board. Our propulsion systems are primitive and inefficient, with almost zero progress in the last 70-80 years.
 
Mar 5, 2021
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George, You have absolutely no idea what your talking about. Practically all of the science in space and rockets has been invented within my lifetime and yours. And in the case of my life that's ~65 years.
 
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That is a good achievement for missions to the Moon and beyond.
But, food is another issue. There is some progress on that front, See https://www.cnn.com/2023/06/21/business/cultivated-meat-us-approval/index.html .
But that is nowhere close to being able to recycle poop as effectively as this 98% value for pee (and sweat and bad breath).
Clearly a distant colony in space is going to need to turn waste back into resources, effectively, efficiently and reliably. The ancient Chinese had a system where human waste went into ponds that grew all sorts of algae, which was eaten by several species of fish, which were then eaten by people. We will need to make a more technologically based system to do the same thing, running on sunlight, just as the ancient Chinese system did, but probably not dependent of gravity or macro animals.
UC, I wonder what happens to the solid waste from the astronauts on ISS? They probably return it in cargo loads that burn up in Earth atmosphere. But since it's something like freeze-dried for water removal and all the contaminants destroyed by this. Could they use it like manure in their greenhouse with maybe a step or two added to the process to keep it safe and biologically rich?
 
Jan 28, 2023
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George, You have absolutely no idea what your talking about. Practically all of the science in space and rockets has been invented within my lifetime and yours. And in the case of my life that's ~65 years.
It appears that educational institutions in your country have malicious omissions in the material taught. It's not too late to educate yourself on when solid and liquid rocket engines were invented and when the first (non crewed)rockets reached outer space, or in modern terms, climbed above the Kármán line.
 
Instead of trading personal insults, I think George2 should post when the first liquid rocket was flown and when the first rocket of any type exceeded 65 miles in altitude. He should also state by what person in what country. I'll let him take a pass on when the first solid-fueled rocket was flown, since it was extremely long ago, probably in China.
 
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Instead of trading personal insults, I think George2 should post when the first liquid rocket was flown and when the first rocket of any type exceeded 65 miles in altitude. He should also state by what person in what country. I'll let him take a pass on when the first solid-fueled rocket was flown, since it was extremely long ago, probably in China.
From here:

  • 1942 - A V-2 rocket reaches an altitude of 85 km.
After then:
  • 1944 - The V-2 rocket MW 18014 reaches an altitude of 176 km, becoming the first man-made object in space.
 
Jun 26, 2023
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What an extraodinary progress, this will help human beings in the universe a lot in the future.
But I have a question, as far as I know, Zvezda service module is a Russia made module. The modules launched by NASA were mainly node modules and laboratory modules. I think it is Russian but not NASA that recycled the pee and sweat, I am afraid the title is not accurate.
 
OK, here in the "West", we can get Google searches for things to come up with info like this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liquid-propellant_rocket

And. I will note that the search results here in the U.S. also come up with a lot about the U.S. first liquid rocket flight. For instance https://www.nasa.gov/missions/research/f_goddard.html

So, what exactly are you saying that is "omitted" when you claim that "educational institutions in your country [the U.S.?] have malicious omissions in the material taught"?

And what country are you posting from?
 
Jan 28, 2023
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OK, here in the "West", we can get Google searches for things to come up with info like this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liquid-propellant_rocket

And. I will note that the search results here in the U.S. also come up with a lot about the U.S. first liquid rocket flight. For instance https://www.nasa.gov/missions/research/f_goddard.html

So, what exactly are you saying that is "omitted" when you claim that "educational institutions in your country [the U.S.?] have malicious omissions in the material taught"?

And what country are you posting from?
Oh, we've gone way off topic. We haven't been warned about it yet. Let me clarify what I meant in my first comment in it. We still travel to and through outer space on chemical rocket engines. Later I specified from when. It is a very slow journey that forces us to exert ourselves to an extent that would otherwise not be necessary. And the efficiency of chemical rocket engines has not improved significantly since V-2. But still enough, so that combined with improvements in other parameters of the rockets, it has allowed us to have a manned presence on the Moon and unmanned far than Kuiper belt. Time travel longevity to outer planets isn't acceptable for private human flight. For first science expeditions... Maybe. :) But we are able to get more effort with nuclear fission or fusion engines. Time for travel to Mars will be shortened essentially. So we will no longer need a record percentage recycling efficiency of urine and excrement on board. We probably won't waste any energy on this while traveling. This has other advantages as well. The weight and volume of the recycling plant will not have them.
 
First, Americano, we seem to be getting cross posted with George2, who is denigrating our rocket motors and our education about rocket motors. I am not knowledgeable about which ISS supporters developed the water recycling process that is the subject of this article, and did not post anything intended to argue with your post.

Now, for George2, I see you have chosen not to support your allegation that our educational institutions have "maliciously" omitted information about rocket motors.

FYI, I have graduate degrees in aeronautical engineering and nuclear engineering, and was preparing myself to work on nuclear powered space propulsion systems when I graduated. But, the U.S., and most everybody else on Earth, stopped developing nuclear fission thermal propulsion (e.g. the NERVA motor) about the time I was graduating. So, I did other things in my career. Now 50 years later, NASA is again just starting to work on the same type of nuclear fission thermal rocket motor that I studied long ago.

Frankly, I am not so sure that it will be a good, useful motor for human transportation in space, anyway. For one thing, it is highly radioactive, and requires shielding of the astronauts. That can be done with a "shadow shield" for the crew compartment to save weight, but it is still problematic for things like rendezvous with landing craft and orbiting stations, not to mention ultimate disposal when the mission is complete and the nuclear fuel is depleted, but still highly radioactive. Best to send the derelicts out into solar orbit between Earth and Venus, rather than burn them and their radioactive waste on reentry to Earth's biosphere.

Since my formal education days, there have been advances in plasma drive motors, including proposals for direct fusion propulsion, which act much like our fusion power test devices, but with one end open, so containment is not the issue. Those have the potential to make fission thermal rockets obsolete, if we can develop them.

So, I am not seeing any "omissions" by my educational institutions, "malicious" or otherwise. If you think you have an example, please post it for our consideration.