MELFI - The First Freezer for Science in Space Station 2001-01-2221
Among the different freezers needed for preservation of samples produced in the ISS with the various life science programs (e.g., biotechnology cell science, gravitational biology, ecology, … ), the Minus Eighty degrees Celsius Laboratory Freezer for the ISS, MELFI, will be the first freezer to be delivered to NASA as Laboratory Support Equipment (LSE) by the European Space Agency (ESA).
From the beginning, the technology for a −80°C freezer was identified as very critical to develop. Throughout the design and development phases, the different technologies were improved and secured to have a freezer in time for the Space Station Utilization Flights.
This paper will start with a system overview, showing the main features of MELFI. The different technical challenges will be then explained and the design choices highlighted.
Details on the qualification program will show how those challenges are overcome.