Corporate & Events

Aquaporin Space Alliance once again heading into space with Danish astronaut Andreas Mogensen

The Danish water technology company Aquaporin has once again made it onto a space mission with its innovative Aquaporin Inside technology. Aquaporin Space Alliance (ASA), a joint venture between Aquaporin and Danish Aerospace Company (DAC), has been selected for testing in space in 2023. The mission will be led by the Danish astronaut Andreas Mogensen who will test the equipment at the International Space Station (ISS).

In total, ten projects and experiments have been chosen for the mission to ISS in 2023. The ASA project is twofold and will test both forward osmosis and membrane distillation at the International Space Station.

It is a proud day for the company says Jörg Vogel, VP of Open Innovation at Aquaporin:

“To be selected for another flight test and continue our work with applying the Aquaporin Inside technology to water recovery in extreme environments is a great honor and proves that we are on the right track. The collaboration with Danish Aerospace Company within the Aquaporin Space Alliance is always inspiring, and projects like this are driving innovation not only for the space application, but also within Aquaporin for our membrane and application development. With this test, we will prove the feasibility of the two subunits of our full Water Recovery Unit, which will hopefully be tested in space within this decade as well.”

An ongoing project

Previously, ASA has been tasked with developing an improved and more efficient water recycling system for spaceflights, and this system will now be tested further on the International Space Station – and eventually, the goal is to enable human voyagers to travel further into the Solar System.

The new, semi-closed loop water recycling system is a dual loop system that consists of a primary loop powered by Aquaporin’s patented Aquaporin Inside technology. The system will use Aquaporin’s Hollow Fiber Forward Osmosis membrane to clean the astronauts’ wastewater. Here, water will be driven through the membrane by an osmotic driving force, and the membrane will hold back all contaminants and thus ensure that only clean water makes the journey into the salty draw solution.

Two separate experiments

On the 2023 ISS mission, ASA will also be examining another membrane technology called membrane distillation which separates clean water from the draw solution using thermal energy. The two tests will investigate the water transport ability of the two-part system. In space, the lack of gravity reduces the efficiency of the semipermeable membranes, and the tests are meant to examine and quantify the performance of both technologies so they can be tailored to future space missions.

The two experiments are part of the same system but will be examined one by one before they are combined in a full water purification process. The extensive data and knowledge acquired through the experiment will help develop a fully transportable water treatment system which allows wastewater to be recycled in space on a larger and more efficient scale than today and thereby ultimately helps realize space missions to Mars and beyond.

About Danish Aerospace Company

Danish Aerospace Company is a high-tech company that works with advanced medical equipment and other technical areas primarily in aerospace and other extreme environments.

The company's products are based on many years of specialized research and development. Their design, integration, and application of both new and established medical technologies take into consideration the challenges and different conditions that exist in the weightlessness of space. The products help bring the technology of space travel, and experience from space missions, down to Earth for the benefit of ordinary people.

Danish Aerospace Company employs engineers and technicians in both mechanics, electronics, and software, who provide advanced technical products and technical service to our customers. The company specializes in customer-specific design, development, production, certification, maintenance, testing, and operation of medical equipment for manned aerospace and other extreme environments. To date, about 3.2 tons of the company's equipment has been sent into space.

About Aquaporin

Aquaporin is an innovative water technology company dedicated to natural water treatment with operations in Denmark (HQ), Singapore, and the United States. Aquaporin works to preserve the Earth’s most valuable resource – water – by combining advanced bioengineering, open innovation, and natural aquaporins – nature's own water purifiers – which they embed into water purification membranes. Their proprietary technology, Aquaporin Inside, is based on Nobel Prize-winning research and used to clean and reuse water in industries, in our homes, and even by NASA in space. Aquaporin works with customers and partners around the globe to sustainably treat industrial wastewater, concentrate food and beverage products, and enhance drinking water quality and accessibility.

Published on July 2022 in , ,