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Technical Paper

Chemical Characterization of U.S. Lab Condensate

Approximately 50% of the water consumed by International Space Station crewmembers is water recovered from cabin humidity condensate. Condensing heat exchangers in the Russian Service Module (SM) and the United States On-Orbit Segment (USOS) are used to control cabin humidity levels. In the SM, humidity condensate flows directly from the heat exchanger to a water recovery system. In the USOS, a metal bellows tank located in the US Laboratory Module (LAB) collects and stores condensate, which is periodically off-loaded in about 20-liter batches to Contingency Water Containers (CWCs). The CWCs can then be transferred to the SM and connected to a Condensate Feed Unit that pumps the condensate from the CWCs into the water recovery system for processing. Samples of the condensate in the tank are collected during the off-loads and returned to Earth for analyses.
Technical Paper

Quality of Water Supplied by Shuttle to ISS

The water supply for the International Space Station (ISS) consists partially of excess fuel-cell water that is treated on the Shuttle and stored on ISS in 44 L collapsible Contingency Water Containers (CWCs). Iodine is removed from the source water, and silver biocide and mineral concentrates are added by the crewmember while the CWCs are filled. Potable (mineralized) CWCs are earmarked for drinking and food hydration, and technical (non-mineralized) CWCs are reserved for waste system flushing and electrolytic oxygen generation. Representative samples are collected in Teflon® bags and returned to Earth for chemical analysis. The parameters typically measured include pH, conductivity, total organic carbon, iodine, silver, calcium, magnesium, fluoride, trace metals, formate and alcohols. The Nylon monomer caprolactam is also measured and tracked since it is known to leach slowly out of the plastic CWC bladder material.
Technical Paper

Chemical Sampling and Analysis of ISS Potable Water: Expeditions 1-3

The early International Space Station (ISS) drinking water supply primarily consists of water recovered from humidity condensate and water transferred from Shuttle. The water is dispensed both from the stored water dispensing system (SVO-ZV) and the galley, which is an integral part of the condensate recovery system. The galley provides both hot and tepid water. An assessment of the quality of each potable water source is underway and consists of periodic collection of samples into Teflon® bags for return to Earth via Shuttle. Water sampling hardware and procedures developed and used during the Shuttle-Mir program are employed on ISS without significant changes. This report provides results from detailed chemical analyses of recovered potable water and supplied (stored) water samples returned from ISS Expeditions 1 through 3. These results have been used to monitor the potability of the product and stored drinking water by comparing the results against water quality standards.
Technical Paper

Chemical Analysis and Water Recovery Testing of Shuttle-Mir Humidity Condensate

Humidity condensate collected and processed in-flight is an important component of a space station drinking water supply. Water recovery systems in general are designed to handle finite concentrations of specific chemical components. Previous analyses of condensate derived from spacecraft and ground sources showed considerable variation in composition. Consequently, an investigation was conducted to collect condensate on the Shuttle while the vehicle was docked to Mir, and return the condensate to Earth for testing. This scenario emulates an early ISS configuration during a Shuttle docking, because the atmospheres intermix during docking and the condensate composition should reflect that. During the STS-89 and STS-91 flights, a total volume of 50 liters of condensate was collected and returned. Inorganic and organic chemical analyses were performed on aliquots of the fluid.
Technical Paper

Potable Water Treatment and Transfer from Shuttle to Mir

To satisfy a requirement to supply water to Mir station, a process for treating iodinated water on the Shuttle was developed and implemented. The treatment system consists of packed columns for removing iodine and a syringe-based injection system for adding ionic silver, the biocide used in Mir water. Technical and potable grade water is produced and transferred in batches using collapsible 44-liter contingency water containers (CWCs). Silver is added to the water via injection of a solution from preloaded syringes. Minerals are also added to water destined for drinking. During the previous four Shuttle-Mir docking missions a total of 2781 liters (735 gallons) of water produced by the Shuttle fuel cells was processed using this method and transferred to Mir. To verify the quality of the processed water, samples were collected during flight and returned for chemical analysis.