Just because the space shuttle Atlantis is on its final mission, that doesn't mean NASA's run out of cool experiments. Its latest example? A shiny silver bag -- consciously inspired by the "stillsuits" from Frank Herbert's sci-fi classic, Dune -- that turns astronaut urine into potable drinking water. It's been done, you say? Sure, but the earlier tech relied on electricity: a precious commodity aboard the International Space Station. The Forward Osmosis Bag requires no outside power source, relying on, you guessed it, forward osmosis to produce clean, filtered water. Not only that, but the resulting water mixes with a sugary solution to make a electrolyte-rich sports drink. On Earth this process takes four to six hours, but Atlantis astronauts will test its viability in space near the end of their mission. For an extensive on-planet demonstration, see the video after the break.
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