Water is precious on the International Space Station. CSA Astronaut Chris Hadfield demonstrates how the Water Recovery System preserves this resource to make the ISS a self-sustaining environment.Do you know where astronauts get their drinking water?
Chris Hadfield, commander of the International Space Station and author of possibly the most epic tweet ever, frequently makes videos explaining life on board the ISS. We've seen him clip his fingernails, wring a washcloth and show how he takes those amazing space photos.
In his latest video, he explains the station's water conservation systems, an important part of keeping the ISS self-sufficient.
As it turns out, a lot of the water on the ISS is recycled. They've had a water repurification system on board since 2010 that's able to reclaim roughly 93% of the water on board, collected from dehumidifiers and, yes, even the toilet systems. That adds up to about 6,000 liters (1,585 gallons) per year.
Hadfield later tweeted that the other 7% remains as "moisture in solid waste, test samples and untreatable brine."Here on Earth, we tend to be skeptical of recycled water programs, which naysayers have termed "toilet-to-tap." But when you're orbiting hundreds of miles away from the usual water sources, sustainability is essential.