3
$\begingroup$

How is the waste managed on ISS? I guess there are three main waste types: two human waste (liquid and solid) and various packaging for food and substances for experiments. Are they recycled or sent to Earth or discarded in space?

$\endgroup$
4
$\begingroup$

Urine is captured and on the Russian side of the house electrolyzed to make oxygen and the hydrogen vented.

Most other waste is packed into one of the departing capsules (Progress), HTV (Just retired, HTV-A to replace it), Cygnus, ATV (before it retired). Dragon Cargo brings back useful things since it lands.

The rest burn up during reentry.

| improve this answer | |
$\endgroup$
4
$\begingroup$

Urine is processed into water on both the US and Russian sides of the ISS.

Poop is bagged up and thrown away like other trash, which gets packed into logistic vehicles and burned up on entry.

| improve this answer | |
$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Is the solid waste dehydrated or sterilized before it is bagged up? $\endgroup$ – uhoh Aug 2 at 16:11
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Great followup question! $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Aug 2 at 16:13
  • $\begingroup$ If nobody asks it and I remember to, I will. I'm currently trying to quit drinking coffee after 40+ years of several cups/day and I'm not much more than a semi-aware bag of protoplasm unable to remember its name. For some reason interacting with Stack Exchange is so deeply embedded in muscle memory that I'm still typing, so while I still appear active here, it's really a case of "the lights are on but nobody's home". $\endgroup$ – uhoh Aug 3 at 1:28
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Best wishes! i.imgur.com/ibhRDmI.png $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Aug 3 at 1:38

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.