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

  • Aquaporin Space Alliance once again heading into space with Danish astronaut Andreas Mogensen
    Danish astronaut Andreas Mogensen testing an Aquaporin membrane on The International Space Station on his last mission back in 2015. Credit: Aquaporin

About the entity

Aquaporin A/S is a global water technology company located in Kongens Lyngby, Denmark. Aquaporin is dedicated to revolutionizing water purification through the use of industrial biotechnological techniques and thinking.


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, ASAwill 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 theycan 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 helpsrealize space missions to Mars and beyond.  

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