General Laboratory Active Cryogenic ISS Experiment Refrigerator (GLACIER) - 07.01.15

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Science Objectives for Everyone
The General Laboratory Active Cryogenic International Space Station (ISS) Experiment Refrigerator (GLACIER) refrigerators are ultra-cold freezers that will store samples at temperatures as low as -160 °C (-301 °F).
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by Dan Connor, and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Facility Details

OpNom: Glacier

Facility Manager(s)
Dan Connor, University of Alabama, Birmingham (UAB), Center for Biophysical Sciences and Engineering (CBSE), Birmingham, AL, United States

Facility Representative(s)
Information Pending

Developer(s)
University of Alabama at Birmingham - Center for Biophysical Sciences and Engineering, Birmingham, AL, United States

Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Sponsoring Organization
Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD)

ISS Expedition Duration
April 2008 - Ongoing

Expeditions Assigned
17,18,19/20,21/22,23/24,29/30,35/36,37/38,39/40,41/42,43/44,45/46

Previous ISS Missions
Information Pending

Availability
Information Pending

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Facility Description

Facility Overview

  • The General Laboratory Active Cryogenic ISS Experiment Refrigerator (GLACIER) provides a double middeck-locker-size freezer/refrigerator for a variety of experiments that require temperatures ranging from +4 °C (39 °F) and -160 °C (-301 °F). The GLACIER is compatible with the EXpedite the PRocessing of Experiments to Space Station (EXPRESS) rack.


  • The GLACIER is part of the cold stowage fleet of hardware that includes the Minus Eighty Degree Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI) and the Microgravity Experiment Research Locker/Incubator (MERLIN).
The General Laboratory Active Cryogenic International Space Station (ISS) Experiment Refrigerator (GLACIER) is a rear-breathing or water-cooled cryogenic freezer that provides cryogenic transportation and preservation of samples requiring temperatures between +4 °C (39 °F) and -160 °C (-301 °F). The cold volume of the unit has a generic design that allows multiple types of science samples requiring cryogenic thermal storage to use the GLACIER.

The GLACIER is a double-locker-equivalent unit that can be operated in the space shuttle middeck or an EXpedite the PRocessing of Experiments to Space Station (EXPRESS) rack. It can be transported in the Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM) in soft stowage or hard mounted in an EXPRESS Transportation Rack (ETR).

The GLACIER incorporates a cold volume sample storage area of 23.1 cm (10.75 in.) x 27.94 cm (11.00 in.) x 41.91 cm (16.5 in.). It is capable of supporting 10 kg (22 lb) of experiment samples and has an internal cold volume of 20 L. The GLACIER can maintain a temperature of -160 °C (-256 °F) for 6 to 8 hours without power if it has been operating at -160 °C (-301 °F) prior to the power outage.

The cold volume is configured such that sample access and volume configuration may be varied for each sample type. The cold volume is separated from the external environment by two doors. The outer door provides insulation and strength to withstand crew-applied loads, while the inner door is divided into four insulated aperture doors. Both the inner and outer doors are designed to allow access to the cold volume when the GLACIER is installed in the space shuttle middeck. This dual door configuration allows easy access to each sample type and will accommodate the 2-minute on-orbit access requirement. Also, the dual-door configuration allows for simple reconfiguration both on the ground and on-orbit to accommodate different sample types or a combination of sample types. Thus, the GLACIER will be compatible with the requirement for reconfiguration of the cold volume on the ground and on-orbit. The General Laboratory Active Cryogenic International Space Station (ISS) Experiment Refrigerator (GLACIER) may be activated onboard the space shuttle or after being transferred from the space shuttle to the ISS. Depending on the types of samples placed in the GLACIER, it can be used as a refrigerator or freezer with temperature capabilities of +4 °C (39 °F) and -160 °C (-301 °F). The crew can perform maintenance and monitor the hardware. The GLACIER can also be commanded and monitored from the ground.

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Operations

Facility Operations
Information Pending

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Results/More Information

Results Publications

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Ground Based Results Publications

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ISS Patents

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Related Publications

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Related Websites

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Imagery

image An artist's concept of the General Laboratory Active Cryogenic ISS Experiment Refrigerator (GLACIER) facility.
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image NASA Image: ISS018E30628 - View of the GLACIER within EXPRESS Rack 6 in the U.S. Laboratory, Destiny, during Expedition 18.
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