Astronauts Preserve Their Urine and Bring It Back to Earth Where It is Burned

By: | February 17th, 2016

Image courtesy Youtube

We all think it is glamorous being an astronaut. Certainly some aspects of the job are, but others are definitely not!

One needs to be extremely fit and healthy to become an astronaut. While we humans on Earth are subjected to a constant force of gravity, astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) have to experience the loss of gravity for long spans of time. These changes make astronauts experience disease-like symptoms as their bodies try to cope with the change.

But it’s extremely difficult to cope with the changes. While we work out to keep ourselves fit and to control our body weight, in space you have to worry about your bones too. This is because in space astronauts stand to lose 2-2.5% of their bone density every month. At this rate, after 30 months, you’ll end up with half your bone density. Just think of the loss of bone density on the Mars exploration which will take about three years.

It was found that majority of the bone density that is lost is in the lower back, hips, and lower femur in the thigh. Scientists discovered that most of the bone minerals lost by astronauts are being evacuated out of them through urination. That makes astronaut urine an important and vital resource to study.

Therefore, scientists at NASA burn it, and the color of the flame is analyzed to find out the minerals present in the urine.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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