Urine might be the next fuel to get NASA to Mars – well, sort of. Used for years by the Russians, Oxygen Generation Systems, or OGS, uses electrolysis to turn pee into oxygen. The addition of an OGS system to the current space shuttle should allow for a 3 crew increase, bringing crew capacity to a total of 6. The current NASA shuttle is carrying the OGS, but won’t be usable until a urine-water recovery system is added. This system will use “a vacuum-distillation system to remove the dissolved solids in urine” and presumably harness the water to add to the OGS. Right now the question isn’t ‘if’ NASA will implement these systems and reach mars, its just a question of ‘when’.
Don’t Flush It — Breathe It [Wired]