Astronauts head for extreme home makeover in space

Tuesday, November 11th 2008, 1:11 pm
By: News On 6

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - The international space station is about to get all the comforts of a modern, high-end, "green" home.

That includes a fancy recycling water filter, a new fridge, extra bedrooms, workout equipment and the essential half-bath.

The space shuttle Endeavour's seven-member will carry all the frills up later this week to provide more luxurious space station living - and a larger household. Liftoff is set for Friday night.

It'll be a home makeover in the extreme. The space station will go from a three-bedroom, one-bath house with kitchenette to a five-bedroom, two-bath house with two kitchenettes and the latest gizmos NASA has to offer.

To be more precise, astronauts will install an extra toilet, more sleeping compartments with individual thermostats and laptop hookups, and an exercise machine capable of some 30 routines.

They also will be delivering the essentials of NASA's first attempt at a closed-loop environmental system in orbit, where almost everything gets recycled. Already, the power on the space station is generated from solar panels.

Most significant is the water recovery system that'll turn urine and condensation into fresh drinking water.

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