International Space Station Water System Successfully Activated

WASHINGTON -- NASA has announced the successful activation of new
hardware that will support water production services aboard the
International Space Station.

The Sabatier system can create up to 530 gallons of water per year
from byproducts of the station's Oxygen Generation System and Carbon
Dioxide Removal Assembly. The process is named for Paul Sabatier, a
1912 Nobel Prize winner in chemistry.

"This is an important step forward in NASA's commercialization
endeavors and shows how successful private industry can be at
providing solutions on its own," said Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA
associate administrator for Space Operations at the agency's
Headquarters in Washington. "The ability to produce this water will
be important for sustaining space station operations once the shuttle
is retired."

The system was integrated into the space station's Water Recovery
System during the week of Oct. 11. Activation, checkout and first use
of the system were completed Oct. 22, running for over eight hours.

The Sabatier process uses a nickel catalyst to interact with hydrogen
and carbon dioxide at elevated temperatures and pressures to produce
water and methane. The water is retained for recycling processes, and
the methane is vented outside of the space station.

Prior to adding the Sabatier system, hydrogen produced while
generating station oxygen was considered waste gas and vented
overboard. Carbon dioxide generated by crew metabolism also was
vented overboard. With the Sabatier system, these two former waste
gases will generate a valuable product for the space station: water.

Under contract to NASA, Hamilton Sundstrand supplied the flight
hardware and operational support for a Sabatier-reaction-based system
that operates as part of the station's Environmental Control and Life
Support System. This contract is unique because NASA did not
participate in design reviews or impose any specifications on the
design, except for those defined in the safety, interface and
acceptance requirements met by Hamilton Sundstrand.

The company developed, procured, and built the flight hardware and
support equipment needed for operations and training. The in-orbit
operational portion of the contract runs until Sept. 30, 2014.

For information about the International Space Station, visit:


Source: NASA

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