Kennedy Space Center Gaseous Nitrogen Freezer (GN2) - 07.29.14
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The Kennedy Space Center Gaseous Nitrogen Freezer (GN2) is a double-middeck-locker replacement facility designed to provide a cryogenic preservation environment for experiment samples onboard the space shuttle and the International Space Station.
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Kennedy Space Center, Space Life Sciences Laboratory, Cape Canaveral, FL, United States
Bionetics Corporation, Cape Canaveral, FL, United States
Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD)
ISS Expedition Duration
September 2000 - November 2000
Previous ISS Missions
The Kennedy Space Center Gaseous Nitrogen Freezer (GN2) was used on STS-87, STS-95, and STS-111.
- The Kennedy Space Center Gaseous Nitrogen Freezer (GN2) is a passive freezer container (requires no power).
- It is designed to hold samples at cryogenic temperatures (-196 °C) for between 21 and 35 days, depending on the flight configuration and use scenario.
- The GN2 can be used to transport frozen samples to and from orbit and is certified to fly on the International Space Station.
The sample area inside the internal tank can hold up to four cylinders 6.0 in. long and 3.7 in. in outer diameter. In addition, one of the freezer compartments will be filled preflight with an insert of the same absorbent material to increase the thermal mass of the system. The additional insert is wrapped with cotton cloth to contain any particulate.
Quick disconnects are added to the freezer lid to allow for ease of use. The ladles containing the biological samples in the freezer are tethered to the external body pf the freezer via insulated wire. The freezer lid is stowed in a foam insert. The lid's quick-disconnect pin is tethered to the lid to prevent it from floating away. The gaseous nitrogen is held in the absorbent material by a vacuum and the insulation material. The freezer has a valve that ensures the integrity of the vacuum container. The total volume of liquid nitrogen when full is 6.5 L. The static evaporation rate of the unit is about 0.3 L/day. Depending on the flight configuration and use scenario, the GN2 can hold temperatures at approximately -196 °C for between 21 and 35 days. The GN2 is a passive facility which provides access for crew interaction for removal and insertion of biological samples in microgravity.
- The Kennedy Space Center Gaseous Nitrogen Freezer (GN2) is passive. It provides crew access for removal and insertion of biological samples into a cryogenic temperature environment as needed during the mission.
Ground Based Results Publications
The Kennedy Space Center Gaseous Nitrogen Freezer (GN2) with lid removed. Image courtesy of Kennedy Space Center.
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