NASA's Forward Osmosis Bag (For Stillsuits?)

The Forward Osmosis Bag is a simple device for water recycling. You put in dirty water (or water fluid like urine); about four to six hours later, the water portion is safe for drinking.

Of special interest to science fiction fans is that NASA's Dr. Howard Levine actually mentions the water reclamation features of the stillsuit from Frank Herbert's 1965 novel Dune. Here's a brief descriptive quote from the novel:

...He found his stillsuit's watertube in its clip at his neck, drew a warm swallow into his mouth, and he thought that here he truly began an Arrakeen existence--living on reclaimed moisture from his own breath and body. It was flat and tasteless water, but it soothed his throat...

Dr. Levine's Dune comments begin around 10:50 in the following video.


(NASA's Forward Osmosis bag video)

"...this could be used in an emergency situation. It could also be used in the future as part of an EVA, extra vehicle activity, suit. Some of you may be science fiction fans. You may have, you know, read the Dune series with the Fremen on Arrakis and they had stillsuits. Well, this could be, you know, almost the first step towards recapturing the humidity from our sweat, from our breath, even from our urine, and recycling it and making it drinkable."

Read more of the forty different inventions from Frank Herbert's Dune; thanks to Broklynite for the tip and the reference on this story.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 7/9/2011)

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