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Tucson Company Wins NASA Grant To Purify Water In Space

tuscon nasa water
(Photo courtesy of Paragon Space Development Corporation)
Three stages of urine processing. From left to right: Raw urine, urine stabilized by pretreatment chemicals, recovered product water.

A Tucson company will be working with NASA on a new water purification system to be used in space.

The plan is for it to take really dirty water and make it drinkable for astronauts. Laura Kelsey is an aerospace engineer at Paragon Space Development Corporation and says current technology can’t recover all of the water that comes from astronauts’ breath, sweat and urine.

For example, it can only recover about 80 percent of the water from urine, which is where her firm’s technology comes in.

Mark Brodie is a co-host of The Show, KJZZ’s locally produced news magazine. Since starting at KJZZ in 2002, Brodie has been a host, reporter and producer, including several years covering the Arizona Legislature, based at the Capitol.