In our previous blog, “Queen Elizabeth and her “John”, Bosman Plumbing took us on a whirlwind journey through the history of sanitation and into the modern era we live in today what an exciting journey plumbing and sanitation has taken. Our civilizations have grown with leaps and bounds, and the basics of sanitation and water transportation have taken us from 6500BC into space. Water reclamation in space would seem Greek to the Greek’s. But the fact that we can travel to space and build a liveable habitat in the form of the International Space Station, and have all our water and sanitation needs met, is a modern marvel in itself.
On the ISS, astronauts do not shower but rather use liquid soap, water, and rinse-less shampoo. They squeeze liquid soap and water from pouches onto their skin. Then they use rinse-less soap with a bit of water to clean their hair. They use towels to wipe off the excess water. Humidity and excess water droplets are collected through reclamation processes. Waste management and ablutions are very similar in construction though engineeringly different.
These ablutions include a hose with a funnel at the end for peeing and a small, raised toilet seat for more solid needs. With a little bit of hydro suction, astronauts can handle their business — like here on Earth. Technology allows for the reclamation of any usable water from these ablutions. Extraordinarily, little goes to waste.
Ongoing missions unmanned and satellite with deep space telemetry search our cosmos for life on alien planets. The search for water on the top of their list. Where water exists, life could exist. The unmanned rover Perseverance landed on Mars on 18 February 2021. One of its objectives is to search for water or the evidence of water that remains in the rocks and thin layers of sand.
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