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Posts Tagged ‘Agricultural & Biological Engineering’

Space Waste Management

Saturday, December 4th, 2010

To keep our atmosphere clean, we need to have a proper waste management system. It is a responsibility of every human being on this earth and somehow we do it with utmost care. But have you ever given it a thought that what would be condition of space? In a report by NASA, the space stations are pilled up with trash and garbage causing serious health hazards to the astronauts. Shocking but true! There is a dire need to introduce a proper space waste management system to deal with this unforeseen danger. The space agencies need to have an excellent waste strategy before they plan to send any astronauts to mars or moon mission.

The waste management in the spacecrafts or the space stations cannot be undertaken in isolation. However scientists at NASA have already proposed a unique way to deal with the situation. Jean Hunter, an associate professor of agricultural and biological engineering, has been working with research partner Orbital Technologies Corp. (ORBITEC) of Madison, Wis., to develop a revolutionary trash dryer for NASA.

This unique dryer blow hot dry air through wet trash and collects the water from the warm and moist air that comes out. Further, this water is purified for drinking purposes and the trash remains dry, odorless and static. The air and the heat are recycled to contain odors and save energy. The technique is called Heat-pump dehumidification frequently used for drying lumber. Now with this technique of dealing with the space waste, the spacecraft can bring full trash bags from Russian space station MIR to earth, where it could be burnt and destroyed.