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Technical Paper

An Advanced Water Recovery Program

This paper reviews designs of urine distillation systems for spacecraft water recovery. Consideration is given to both air evaporation and vacuum distillation cycles, to the means for improving cycle performance (such as heat pumps, multistaging, and rotary evaporators), and to system concepts offering promise for future development. Vacuum distillation offers lower power consumption, at some increase in system complexity; air evaporation distillation is capable of providing higher water recovery efficiency, which could offset the lower power consumption advantage of vacuum distillation for long-duration missions.