Have you ever looked up at the sky and wondered what else is out there? Most people have. In fact there are countless objects orbiting the earth as you read this. Since 1955 humanity has launched thousands of object and even people into space; most of which still orbit the earth. Transporting anything into space is extremely expensive. With no grocery market places, or corner store in space NASA scientist and engineers have had to develop innovative solutions to ensure that the astronauts have the basic requirements for life. Almost everything in the International Space Station is recycled, from the water they drink to the air they breathe; astronauts are not only conquering space but the art of recycling as well.
Astronauts live a very structured life in space and have to optimize everything they have. The very air they breathe and water they drink is almost a soul product of recycled. The fuel cell on board the spacecraft for example, combines hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity. Astronauts are able to make a chemical reaction with these fuel cells and turn it into drinkable water. This is just one of the many ways that astronauts have to be self-sustaining sanitation workers. At time they are even able to use some of the debris floating around alongside them and utilize that for repair needs on their craft. Astronauts are paving the way in space currently to ultimately be able to develop a self-sustaining community that centers on the ability to limit the trash they make and utilize every resource possible. Astronauts truly are sanitation workers that are out of this world.