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Recycling in Space Challenge

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Posted October 28, 2019

On Earth, recycling technologies can utilize gravity to move waste when converting it to new materials or constituent molecules. In a microgravity environment, however, technology is the only way to transfer the waste for processing. The aim of this Challenge is to identify receptacle and feeder mechanisms suitable for a microgravity environment that can deliver mission waste for decomposition.

Galley tray used aboard the Space Shuttle. Image taken at the Astronaut Hall of Fame in Titusville, Florida.

Galley tray used aboard the Space Shuttle. Image taken at the Astronaut Hall of Fame in Titusville, Florida. Image credit: RadioFan/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0

NASA has developed a high-temperature reactor that can recycle astronaut waste into valuable substances (water, gases & solids). During housekeeping duties, the astronaut will place mission waste into the receptacle in preparation for recycling. The feeder mechanism will take the waste from the receptacle and deliver it to the hot reactor for decomposition.

Submission to this Challenge must be received by 5 P.M. EST January 16 2019.

Source: NineSigma Holdings

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