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Tuesday, July 12, 2011     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Space Shuttle hosting water purification test

TEL AVIV — Israel and the United States have launched an experiment in space.


Israel's Fisher Institute for Air and Space Strategic Studies has begun a bio-medical experiment on the Space Shuttle of the U.S. National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA). Fisher, used as a research arm of the Israel Air Force, was conducting the experiment with Israel's Strauss Water on the Space Shuttle Atlantis.

"Their mission will be to test a new water purification technology under zero gravity in space," Fisher said.

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The experiment began on July 8 and included an Israeli research team headed by Eran Schenker. Organizers said the Space Shuttle was hosting water purification technology based on polymers that would remove bacteria and viruses.

"The data accumulated from the research in space will also have implications for purifying water on earth, as it has direct bearing on the field of drinking water purification in its broader context," Fisher said. "This experiment may be of important for the space industry as well, which is looking to improve the quality of water provided to astronauts on long missions."

The experiment was enabled by a contract between the Israelis and NanoRacks under the latter's space agreement with NASA. Israel has been said to expect a breakthrough in water purification technology.

"Purifying water from bacteria and viruses is a critical process in water-scarce regions around the world, and it is therefore important to expand our knowledge in this field," Schenker said.

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