Let me begin by assuring you that this is not a joke. In fact, I’m going to fore go any of the many humorous remarks I could make on this subject. I’m not even sure where to start with this one, but it’s certainly worth mentioning in the spirit of Out-of-the-Box Thinking.
Let’s start with the old axiom that to be truly successful you simply need to: “Find a need and fill it.” With that in mind, consider this fact: Water is very heavy to carry into space. Next year, the number of residents on NASA’s space station will double from three to six … intensifying the magnitude of this challenge of water supply.
A system was developed in Russia in the 1980s to deal with this problem, but it was never used because of concerns over crew squeamishness. Today, we don’t have the luxury to shelf potential solutions to this growing challenge. Astronauts living on the International Space Station will soon take recycling to new extremes. They’ll get their drinking water from the toilet!
NASA has spent decades perfecting a system to transform urine into water that can be used in space for drinking, food preparation, and washing! Agency officials say the water from this system will be clearer than U.S. tap water.
The $250 million machine should be fully operational in six months. Recycling waste water is also gaining popularity on Earth. A dozen or so U.S. communities have plants that cleanse sewage so it can be added to aquifers that supply drinking water. The biggest plant, which can serve 500,000 people, opened this year in Orange County, California.
Officials admit that the recycled water poses “psychological issue to get past” but also point out that after tasting it many, many times, they can’t tell it apart from any other water. It’s no longer urine, it’s water.
I share this real-life example of thinking-out-of-the-box to illustrate the fact that there are no limits to what open, creative minds, focused determination, and a true challenge can produce. With our growing economic and environmental needs, I’m sure we’ll be witnessing more and more innovations such as this one.
It is indeed a prime example of the age-old adage uttered by Napoleon Hill: “What the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” Don’t allow current boundaries and beliefs to stifle your creativity. There was a time when air travel, cell phones, and heart transplants were thought to be impossible!