Life Sciences Research in the Centrifuge Accommodation Module of the International Space Station 2000-01-2247
The Centrifuge Accommodation Module (CAM) will be the home of the fundamental biology research facilities on the International Space Station (ISS). These facilities are being built by the Biological Research Project (BRP), whose goal is to oversee development of a wide variety of habitats and host systems to support life sciences research on the ISS. The habitats and host systems are designed to provide life support for a variety of specimens including cells, bacteria, yeast, plants, fish, rodents, eggs (e.g., quail), and insects. Each habitat contains specimen chambers that allow for easy manipulation of specimens and alteration of sample numbers. All habitats are capable of sustaining life support for 90 days and have automated as well as full telescience capabilities for sending habitat parameters data to investigator homesite laboratories. The habitats provide all basic life support capabilities including temperature control, humidity monitoring and control, waste management, food, media, and water delivery as well as adjustable lighting. All habitats will have either an internal centrifuge or are fitted to the 2.5-meter diameter centrifuge allowing for variable centrifugation up to 2 g. Specimen chambers are removable so that the specimens can be handled in the life sciences glovebox. Laboratory support equipment is provided for handling the specimens. This includes a compound and dissecting microscope with advanced video imaging, mass measuring devices, refrigerated centrifuge for processing biological samples, pH meter, fixation and complete cryogenic storage capabilities. The research capabilities provided by the fundamental biology facilities will allow for flexibility and efficiency for long term research on the International Space Station.