BigPic: What Is This 'Vital Equipment' On The International Space Station?

Come on, guys, guess! It'll be fun!

ISS Space Part
Chris Hadfield

International Space Station astronaut Chris Hadfield just tweeted this photo of... some sort of tank or something on board the International Space Station.

This vital equipment is used in both the US and Russian sections of the Space Station. Do you recognize what it is? twitter.com/Cmdr_Hadfield/… -- Chris Hadfield (@Cmdr_Hadfield) January 2, 2013

Hmm. Some very important space technology, no doubt. But what could it be? Well, we got the answer pretty soon after.

@thisisobject - on the Space Station we recycle our urine and sweat back into drinking water. Same as on Earth, just more ... personal. -- Chris Hadfield (@Cmdr_Hadfield) January 2, 2013

Aha! It's a tank that turns urine and sweat back into drinkable water. Important indeed. In fact, we remember when the astronauts first toasted to this equipment with tall glasses of their own recycled urine. As we reported, the whole setup costs a whopping $250 million, but can you really put a price on such a futuristic toilet?