New hardware that will support water production services aboard the international space station has been successfully activated, NASA announced Oct. 26.
The so-called Sabatier system can create up to 2,000 liters of water per year from the byproducts of the station’s Oxygen Generation System and Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly. The new hardware, built by Windsor Locks, Conn.-based Hamilton Sundstrand, was integrated into the station’s Water Recovery System the week of Oct. 11 and successfully activated Oct. 22.
Prior to adding the Sabatier system, which uses a nickel catalyst to produce water and methane from hydrogen and carbon dioxide, the hydrogen produced while generating station oxygen was treated as a waste gas and vented overboard.
NASA hailed the Hamilton Sundstrand-led project as a step forward in the agency’s commercialization endeavors. “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,” NASA said in a press release.
The in-orbit operations portion of Hamilton Sundstrand’s contract runs until Sept. 30, 2014.