Friday, July 18, 2008

Waste Wanted

wasteNo, we're not talking about chambers of commerce pitching for the building of temporary storage facilities in their districts; we're talking about NASA...and a different kind of spent fuel. From the AP, via Slashdot:

Space program contractor Hamilton Sundstrand is seeking urine from workers at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, as part of its work on the new Orion space capsule that eventually would take astronauts to the moon, according to an internal memo posted on the Web site Nasawatch.com.

The need is voluminous: 30 liters a day, which translates into nearly 8 gallons. Even on weekends.

Designers of the Orion, which will park unoccupied in space for up to six months while astronauts work on the moon, have to solve a pressing issue of getting rid of stored urine, said John Lewis, NASA's head of life support systems for Orion.

...NASA has a long-standing tradition of collecting samples from its workers to help design better space toilets because "you can't make fake urine," Lewis said.

4 comments:

KevinM said...

Can't evaporate out the water and dump solids on the surface? I hate seeing McDonalds bags on the roadside as much as the next guy, but a little pee never hurt anyone.

Anonymous said...

Well, maybe NASA should take lessons from Entegry which is raiding the decommissioning funds for Vermont Yankee to handle waste, in this case spent fuel and not urine. It seems like the NRC has identified some fecal matter waste from greedy Entergy corporate execs.

http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/080718/vt_vermont_yankee_spent_fuel.html?.v=1

Oh, but Entergy won't have to pay any fines - they are spinning off the northeast plants to make VY and IPEC someone else's problem. And they want to build an ESBWR at Grand Gulf! Indeed!

Anonymous said...

Speaking of movies, I'm reminded of a scene in Apollo 13 where I believe Bill Paxton executes a "sanitary dump" and makes a comment as the astronaut pee whizzes out of the command module and instantly freezes into starkly yellow crystals, "Here it comes, the constellation Urion. Now that's a beautiful sight..."

Bill said...

Not just urine.

NASA's Use of Human Cadavers In Testing the Design of the Orion Spacecraft