Scientific research and design Institute of chemical machine building (Niikhimmash) started to develop a sauna and washing machines for use in space (space stations and bases on other planets). About it it is reported on the website the only national developer of such systems.
From sanitary systems on Soviet space stations, starting with the “Salyut-7”, installed only a shower. Last time a similar system was used on the orbital station “Mir”. ISS shower is not provided for a number of reasons, one of which is the size of the booth. In addition, the reason the shower was just pure laziness of the crew of the station – the astronauts forgot to wipe the inner walls of the shower dry. At the same time, the astronauts themselves have repeatedly expressed a desire to get a new shower. At the moment it replaced the wet towels.
In the scientific and technical Council of the Institute decided to start the development of tools for sanitation (shower, sauna, washbasin, washbasin, washing) and regeneration system for sanitary water.
In addition, Niikhimmash tasked with the research, development and testing of new systems of water regeneration, which could potentially be used in new spacecraft, stations, and bases aplanatic.
“With the development of the regenerative life-support system to achieve maximum isolation and maximum recovery rates of targeted products (clean water)”, — stated in the decision of the Council.
Mention of a possible development of the basin for astronauts appeared in the annual report of Niikhimmash in 2015. At that time, meant a basin of the sink with the flow and suction of water, fan, separator, storage tanks and treatment system of contaminated water for reuse.
In 2017, the corporate magazine of RSC Energia, an article appeared in which the enforcement of the drawings describes a washing machine for use in space. The article noted that such a device would significantly reduce the flow at the station, personal hygiene, and clothing items. At the moment the astronauts wear the same suit three or four days, and then just throw it away.
By the way, now on the Russian segment of the ISS has several systems Niikhimmash. Among them: the system for water recovery from humidity condensate of the SRV-K2M, the system of reception and preservation of urine SPK-MIND system electrolysis producing oxygen “Elektron-VM”, system cleaning carbon dioxide from Air and purification system from harmful trace SOA-MP. In the accident of cargo ship “Progress” was lost the installation for regeneration of water from urine, which is transported to the ISS. A new system delivered to the station this year. Use to drink thus obtained water not planned, but it will be used for technical needs.
Held at the end of last year conference on space biology and medicine representatives Niikhimmash noted that established on the ISS system water regeneration will in the future gain up to 88 per cent of the fluid by processing. By calculations of experts, ideally, this number can be increased to 94 percent. Today the amount of recycled liquid used by the Russian segment of the ISS, is only 38 percent of the total. Despite this, since 1998 through the processing of various fluids and atmospheric moisture was received more than 21 tons of water and more than 5 tons of oxygen.