Operational Considerations for the Space Station Life Science Glovebox 881123
The U.S. Laboratory (USL) module on Space Station will house a biological research facility for multidisciplinary research using living plant and animal specimens. The science community requires that the specimen environment remain biologically isolated from the rest of the Station environment. Environmentally closed chambers isolate the specimen habitats, but specimens must be removed from these chambers during research procedures as well as while the chambers are being cleaned. An enclosed, sealed Life Science Glovebox (LSG) is the only locale in the USL where specimens can be accessed by crew members. This paper discusses the key science, engineering and operational considerations and constraints involving the LSG, such as bioisolation, accessibility, and functional versatility. Existing glovebox technology is reviewed and the potential for adding automation, robotics, and telecommunications to the LSG is discussed. A process is presented for insuring continued user participation in requirements definition for LSG design and operation.