Astronauts running low on oxygen? No problem, they've got urine.
NASA has developed a new device to turn astronaut urine into oxygen (I suppose it can turn anyone's urine into oxygen but astronauts are typically more available in space).Â The device is on its way to the International Space Station.Â
Here's a bit from a Wired.com article:
NASA's Oxygen Generation System, or OGS, is essentially a copycat of Russia's Elektron, which uses electrolysis to turn purified urine into breathable air and has been used on the space station for the past six years. The new setup offers an important backup for the existing systems, experts said, and a chance to test technology that could prove instrumental for deep-space exploration and colonization.
Upon first read I just thought this was one of those "Oh, that's cool" kind of inventions but according to the article, "The devices could hold the key to a major hurdle for extended space travel and off-planet colonization."
Oh, that's even more cool.