Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Reactor Makes Trash a Power Source

 NASA researchers focusing on the difficulties of traveling into deep space have identified an unusual source for fuel that astronauts will be carrying with them anyway: trash.

Scientists say there is a good chance that food wrappers, used clothing, scraps, tape, packaging and other garbage accumulated by a crew of four astronauts flying beyond low Earth orbit can be turned into valuable methane gas, oxygen and even water using processes and much smaller versions of devices that are already doing the same thing on Earth.

"We're trying to change the mindset, we don't want to just think of waste as something that occurs, we want to think of waste as a resource," said Paul Hintze, task leader of the trash-to-gas project at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.


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