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Astronauts toast with recycled urine

The "Water Recovery System" machine.
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) May 21, 2009
It was a toast a bit like no other when astronauts on the International Space Station drank to their health for the first time with water recycled from urine, NASA said.

"NASA's Mission Control gave the Expedition 19 astronauts aboard the International Space Station a 'go' to drink water that the station's new recycling system has purified" from urine, NASA said in a statement received Thursday.

The urine was recycled by a "Water Recovery System" machine that cost 250 million dollars.

"This has been the stuff of science fiction," gushed flight engineer Mike Barratt.

"Everybody's talked about recycling water in a closed loop system but nobody's ever done it before. Here we are today with the first round of recycled water."

Barratt, Russian commander Gennady Padalka and Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata "celebrated the decision (the system was running safely) with a toast in the Destiny laboratory," NASA said.

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