Jul 11, 2011 at 01:30pm IST

NASA astronauts trial urine sports drink

New Delhi: Don't let this news gross you out. The Atlantis crew is testing a urine recycling system developed by NASA that is capable of turning the urine of astronauts into a yummy sports drink.

NASA has adopted the "forward osmosis bags", used by soldiers to clean dirty fluids, for use in space, according to several news reports on Monday.

NASA scientist Howard Levine was quoted by the 'Wired' magazine as saying: "This could be a first step toward recapturing the humidity from our sweat, from our breath, even from our urine, and recycling it and making it drinkable."

NASA astronauts trial urine sports drink

A urine recycling system developed by NASA is capable of turning astronauts' pee into a sports drink.

The process of forward osmosis involves the natural diffusion of water through a semi-permeable membrane that acts as a barrier so that small molecules such as water pass through while larger molecules blocked.

The 'Wired' said the system has been found to be capable of making about a litre of sports drink fluid in four to six hours. It will be tested by one of the four Atlantis crew members towards the end of their 12-day mission.

Remember Space Beer?

Sapporo Breweries, one of Japan's major breweries, used the crop of barley grown in space to create 100 litres of a 5.5 per cent proof beer ¬ aptly named Space Barley.

The space brew was the result of a collaboration between the Russian Academy of Science, Okayama University in Japan and Sapporo Breweries, one of the oldest brewers in the country, the Telegraph reported.

The barley was grown as the result of an on-going crop growing project on board ISS, with other products including wheat, lettuce and peas. In the future, potatoes could also be grown in space.