SPACEHAB-A Multipurpose Facility for Life Sciences 881028
SPACEHAB provides a habitable pressurized living compartment in the shuttle orbiter cargo bay. Previous experience in Shuttle flights demonstrated that the middeck of the crew's compartment was an excellent area for the conduct of man tended Life Science experiments. However, this same area serves both as a astronaut living area and as a working area. The availability of lockers or racks for mounting experiments or other life science hardware in the shuttle middeck is limited. SPACEHAB provides an additional 1000 cubic feet of volume, designed for ease of integration of payload, yet has a small enough load factor to facilitate manifesting opportunities. Many Life Science experiments are designed to fly in the middeck area. SPACEHAB is particularly suited to accommodate these type experiments. In addition. SPACEHAB can also accommodate space station type racks for rack mounted experiments and still retain sufficient space for such Life Science hardware as exercise machines, etc. Further. SPACEHAB, Inc., together with NASA has been examining the feasibility of a SPACEHAB and a SPACELAB configuration on the same mission. This combination of two separated pressurized spaces in the cargo bay offers many interesting possibilities, one of which would be the use of SPACEHAB as a Life Science animal retainer area. Other potential uses of the SPACEHAB include space station safe haven/infirmary; space station advance systems test bed; permanent isolated X-ray facility, etc. In summary. SPACEHAB is a facility that can accommodate and support an additional number of various types and even unique Life Science experiments in a man-tended and accessable area in the orbiter cargo bay.