As profiled previously on -FUPPETS- , The International Space Station is doubling it's full-time crew next year and to get ready for it, they are adding more living space and a second bathroom, as well as installing a system by which any excess water in the air and in the astronauts' waste will be recycled. This system was supposed to work at around 90% efficiency, allowing for longer stays and keeping the shuttle from being burdened by bringing water for the astronauts and cosmonauts that inhabit the station. The Space Shuttles bring water as a by-product of their electrical systems. This water is then bagged up by the astronauts and used for their drinking and washing. Since the shuttle will stop flying in two years, a quality urine processing machine had to be installed.
After installing the new urine filtration system they have had several glitches, and the machine is not working up to the standards expected. A centrifuge used in the distillation process stops functioning after a few hours. This is crucial and needs to be addressed. Samples of the water have been collected and will be taken back to Earth to be analyzed. Potable water is a crucial step in ensuring the success of an expanded crew aboard the space station.