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Q & A: Heating water in spacecraft

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Most recent answer: 10/22/2007
Q:
In Manned Space station, How can water be heated and dispensed in a zero gravity environment?
- Owen (age 25)
Liverpool, UK
A:
Well, the most important thing is to keep the hot water from floating around the passenger cabin. If it is floating freely, it will form little droplets and collide with anything in the cabin, scalding astronauts and making expensive equipment soggy and perhaps nonfunctional.

The idea is to put the water in a plastic pouch -- you can then microwave it. Soup is probably prepared in this way -- you can stick a straw into the pouch and suck out the soup. Or maybe squeeze it out of a little spring-loaded valve on one end. I imagine with early spacecraft, hot soup and coffee may have been luxuries that could have been foregone.

Tom

(published on 10/22/2007)

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