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THIS MONTH'S TOPIC: Surviving in Space

Long-range space travel brings a new set of challenges to the already formidable mission of sending humans out into space. Now that the U.S. is ramping up plans to send astronauts back to the moon and eventually on to Mars, NASA scientists must figure out how to supply crews with air, food, and water for stretches of months, and even years, at a time. The cost of shipping water into space, for example, will shut down a Tang party pretty quickly — every pound of water consumed in orbit costs around $10,000. To meet such challenges, researchers like Sherwin Gormly and his colleagues are coming up with inventive ways to recycle in an enclosed space habitat. Arguably the most intriguing example is a 10-pound machine that turns urine into drinking water using processes that duplicate those that occur in nature. Pee-licious! Come find out what Sherwin has to tell us about all aspects of exploration life support, and how such innovations could impact real-world conservation efforts here at home.

ABOUT THE SERIES: Ask a Scientist is an informative, entertaining, monthly lecture series, held at a San Francisco cafe. Each event features a speaker on a scientific topic, a short presentation, and the opportunity to ask all those burning questions that have been keeping you up at night. No tests, grades, or pressure…just food, drinks, socializing, and conversation about the universe’s most fascinating mysteries. http://www.askascientistSF.com

Official Website: http://www.askascientistSF.com

Added by fourquarts on September 16, 2008