Researchers at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center are evaluating small tiles made of space trash to find out if they can be stored aboard spacecraft safely, or even used for radiation shielding during a deep-space mission.

The circular tiles were produced at Ames Research Center, where engineers developed and built a compactor that melts trash but doesn’t incinerate it. After compaction, a day’s worth of garbage becomes an 8-inch-diameter tile about half an inch thick. Plastic water bottles, clothing scraps, duct tape, and foil drink pouches are left patched together in a single tile along with other materials left from a day of living in space.

Visit www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/exploration/researchtech/trashdiscs.html for the full story.

The U.S. Government does not endorse any commercial product, process, or activity identified on this web site.