November 14th, 2008 18:54 EST
Astronauts To Drink Purified Urine
"As NASA prepares to double the number of astronauts living aboard the International Space Station, nothing may do more for crew bonding than a machine being launched aboard the space shuttle Endeavour on Friday.
It`s a water-recycling device that will process the crew`s urine for communal consumption.
`We did blind taste tests of the water,` said NASA`s Bob Bagdigian, the system`s lead engineer. `Nobody had any strong objections. Other than a faint taste of iodine, it is just as refreshing as any other kind of water.`"
As a youngster I consumed gallons of Tang, an orange flavored non-carbonated soft drink. Tang tasted like sweetened sewer water, but we greedily gulped it because it was marketed as the drink that astronauts consumed in space.
But I don` think there will ever be a market for bottled water made from recycled urine, even if it`s marketed as what the astronauts in the International Space Station drink.
It`s understandable that astronauts don`t have the luxury of drinking a nice refreshing Coke or a thirst quenching lemonade, but it`s cruel and unusual punishment to expect them to drink their own urine.
I no longer envy astronauts, drinking your own bodily fluids takes away the glamour of space flight. Drinking Tang was bad enough, but drinking..., thanks, but no thanks.