A Systems Approach to Water Recycling Research

by Jon Schulz, Martin Marietta Astronautics Group, Denver, United States,
JoAnn Silverstein, Martin Marietta Astronautics Group, Denver, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering, Construction, and Operations in Space III


Because of the cost of Earth resupply, water recycling from wastewater is a critical enabling technology for long duration space missions. The need and the fact that water quality is not only a key environmental health issue but is also important for habitability and productivity identified water recycling as a research area for the Center for Space Environmental Health (CSEH), a NASA Specialized Center of Research and Training (NSCORT). A system approach is required and has been taken in our research because water recycling systems are inherently complex involving many interrelated issues and because long duration missions are fundamentally different and more complex than short missions creating different issues, design drivers, and the need for new knowledge and engineering approaches. This research, which includes long term operation and modeling of a recycling test bed, will develop fundamental knowledge of chemical and microbial contaminant behavior in such systems and will help define future water quality standards and design requirements for water recycling systems.

Subject Headings: Water quality | Water reclamation | Recycling | Hydrologic models | Space life support systems | Health hazards | Space exploration | High-rise buildings

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