ZOMG!! Astronauts are drinking water made from urine!!!

Let's think about this bit of news media sensationalism, shall we?

First, urine is mostly water anyway, with some salts dissolved in it along with various water soluble metabolites. Your kidneys filtered it out of your blood and your blood got if from normal metabolic processes and what you ate/drank. Technically, I suppose the media could also announce that you're peeing urine made from blood, but that's beside the point.

Second, consider where the water in your home comes from. Given that the water from my tap comes from the city water system, that means it's come through the water treatment plant. Said water treatment plant gets at least some of its water from (gasp!) the sanitary sewer system. Additional water enters the system from surface water supplies (i.e. lakes and rivers), in which wildlife, birds and people are more than happy to pee, poop and die. Yes, sports fans, it's true. There was once urine, among other things, in my municipal water supply. And then it was filtered, settled, filtered, flocculated, filtered and either ozonated or chlorinated, then pumped through a relatively old (and non-sterile) delivery system to my house. Tastes pretty good straight out of the tap too.

Third, drinking water made from urine still tastes better than drinking Tang like the Gemini and Apollo astronauts supposedly did. (Hey, that's what the Tang marketing dweebs told us!)

Fourth, consider that there is a finite amount of hydrogen and oxygen on the planet Earth, not just in artificial environments like the International Space Station. That means that the hydrogen and oxygen in the water I am presently drinking from the aforementioned tap, has been used before. It's been inhaled before. Digested before. Pooped before. Ingested before. Fermented before. Urinated before. It's been in numerous inorganic and organic compounds. Heck, the last water molecule that crossed my lips a moment ago may once have been a part of Isaac Newton or Genghis Khan or a dung beetle in the Sahara or the dung beetle's dung collection. Doesn't it just boggle the mind to think that there might be an atom or two of Michaelangelo in you? Or a seahorse? Or an orchid? Not to mention the water made from urine. It really is a small world and it's been recycling raw materials since day one, or at least since the decomposers started working. It shouldn't be so amazing that astronauts are drinking water made from urine. We've been doing that on Earth since we started imbibing the stuff.


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