Analysis of hormones, steroids, pharmaceuticals, and personal care products in water, wastewater, and preserved urine samples

Project: Research project

Project Details


The Water Recovery System (WRS) is a key element of the Environmental Control and Life Support Systems (ECLSS) on the International Space Station (ISS). The WRS processes atmospheric moisture and urine into clean water that is used for drinking, food rehydration, oxygen generation, and hygiene activities. To help ensure crew safety, samples of the WRS product water are routinely collected and returned to the ground for analysis. These samples are analyzed in an environmental laboratory for over 300 compounds, including metals, inorganic ions, total organic carbon (TOC), and specific organics such as volatile, semi-volatiles, and nonvolatile compounds. Data collected from the archive water samples shows that, overall, the water produced by the WRS is very high quality. The compounds routinely detected in the samples are common contaminants from the spacecraft environment that do not pose a risk to crew health. However, in most samples there is a significant portion of the TOC that cannot be accounted for by the detailed environmental analyses. Given the source fluids for the WRS (atmospheric moisture and urine), it is not unreasonable to believe that the crew and their activities could contribute to the unaccounted TOC. Metabolites, pharmaceuticals, personal care products, and their bypro ducts could be present in both the source and product waters, but would not be detected by standard environmental methods. In an effort to increase the accountability of the TOC in the source and product water samples collected on the ISS and also to identifY potential challenges for the WRS, the Buyer is seeking the services of a Subcontractor to perform additional analyses on water, wastewater, and preserved urine samples. These analyses will focus on detection and quantification of hormones, steroids, pharmaceuticals, and personal care products in the sample matrices.
Effective start/end date3/5/1212/30/12


  • National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA): $15,000.00


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