Astronauts Still Repairing Water Recycling Unit

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Astronauts hope they have a solution for repairing a water recycling unit that is critical for allowing the international space station crew to grow to six members.

A pivotal piece of equipment is needed to convert urine and
sweat into drinkable water.

Flight controllers asked station commander Michael Fincke today
to change how a centrifuge is mounted in the $154 million water
recycling system.
The centrifuge is on mounts and Mission Control asked Fincke to remove them.
Fincke enthusiastically told Mission Control that was something
the crew could do.

The astronauts have been working for the past three days to get
the system running so that it can generate samples for testing back
on Earth, but the urine processor only operates for two hours at a
time before shutting down.

The water recycling system was delivered a week ago by the space
shuttle Endeavour.
It was developed over two years by engineers at OI Analytical in College Station.


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