Development of an In-Flight Refill Unit for Replenishing Research Animal Drinking Water
The Spacelab Life Sciences 2 (SLS-2) mission became NASA's longest duration Shuttle mission, lasting fourteen days, when Columbia landed on November 1, 1993. Located within the Spacelab were a total of 48 laboratory rats which were housed in two Research Animal Holding Facilities (RAHFs) developed by the Space Life Sciences Payloads Office (SLSPO) at Ames Research Center. In order to properly maintain the health and well-being of these important research animals, sufficient quantities of food and water had to be available for the duration of the mission. An Inflight Refill Unit was developed by the SLSPO to replenish the animals' drinking water inflight using the Shuttle potable water system in the middeck galley as the source of additional water. The Inflight Refill Unit consists of two major subsystems, a Fluid Pumping Unit (FPU) and a Collapsible Water Reservoir (CWR).