Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

How do space shuttles generate electricity?

  1. Apr 24, 2008 #1
    From what I understand NASA shuttles use electrolysis in fuel cells (their fuel cell power plants) . But how does it work? Do they bring up liquid oxygen and hydrogen, or is it something else with water? What is the byproduct?
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2008
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 24, 2008 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

  4. Apr 24, 2008 #3
    and if water is the by-product, why do they still need recycle bodily fluids to drink?
  5. Apr 24, 2008 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    The shuttle doesn't however the space station does recycle urine and humidity from the air.
    The shuttle has relatively short missions and gets most of it's power form fuel cells, the ISS has more man-days to supply and gets most of it's power from solar panels.
    In addition developing and testing recycling is part of the research program for longer term space exploration
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?

Similar Discussions: How do space shuttles generate electricity?
  1. Electrical Generator Q (Replies: 4)