Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Is Anyone...Thirsty?

Space shuttle Endeavour touched down on Sunday at Edwards Air Force Base in California after a 16-day mission to the International Space Station.

While this may seem as if it's getting to be old hat...this was the 100th daytime landing of a space shuttle, and Endeavour's 22nd flight...and while I don't follow the shuttle missions as closely as I'd like to, it still never ceases to amaze me what we're able to do so many miles above Earth...not to mention the simple fact that we're even able to get there!

One of the shuttle crew's missions for this trip was to help in a renovation of sorts of the ISS, as they expanded it from three bedrooms and one bath, to five bedrooms and two baths. (I wonder how much that'll increase the property's resale value...and who the lucky realtor is who'll get to list it.)

Aside from other tasks such as completing spacewalks to clean and lubricate the ISS's solar alpha rotary joints, which keep the station's solar panels pointed at the sun for maximum production of electricity (talk about an argument in favor of solar power!), there was another experiment that caught my eye in the news stories I've read, and made me appreciate the gallon of water in my fridge.

Several crew members worked on a water recovery system to recycle urine and perspiration into drinking water. I'd tell you to go back and read that sentence again, but I'm betting that you already have.

I'll never look at a liter of Dasani, or a gallon of cheap Sam's Choice water, or even my not-so-delicious tap water in the same way again.

I wouldn't want to be on the team that has to troubleshoot the system and iron out its kinks before declaring it to be a working and fully functional system. Although one small sip should tell you if it's time to go back to the drawing board, or if the effort is a success.

The story in the link says that samples of the processed water were brought back on the shuttle for analysis before the station's crew can begin to use it. Thorough analysis, I hope.

It's amazing where we can fly...and what we can drink. Isn't it?

And oh, back to the "old hat"...

...during Endeavour's mission, it traveled about 6.6 million miles, and made 250 orbits around this big ball we call home.

Ridiculous numbers to fathom.

"Nothing puzzles me more than
the time and space; and yet
nothing troubles me less."
—Charles Lamb


  1. Les Stroud wouldn't need a water recovery system!!!

    Bear Grylls would however drink the Dasani

    WAR Survivorman!!!

  2. I had to google those names to learn that there's a show called Survivorman.

    I would opt for the Dasani as well.

  3. For as much couch time as you spend thinking about writing (kidding...) i'd thought for sure you'd have come across these shows.

    They're competing shows on Discovery both about the same thing. Only one is real and one is mostly fake.

    Les Stroud (Survivorman) is real (of course, he's Canadian). He's so real he goes out on his own for seven days each time. He carries all the camera equipment himself (i.e. when you see him wading across a river or climbing a rock face, etc. he's got to do it twice to either set up or go back and get the camera).

    Now Gerber (who used to read these blogs...or is she a voyuer like Smooth?) loves Bear (Man vs. Wild). It was already known that he had a camera crew with him (fine, not Les Stroud cool, but fine) and then it came out that Bear was sleeping in hotels some of the nights and getting food brought to him, etc.

    They pulled the show for a while due to backlash and then brought it back (must be his cute British accent) with a disclaimer at the beginning of each episode.

    So there you have it.