The Autonomous Biological System (ABS) is a self-contained, isolated aquatic habitat that requires only gross control of temperature to maintain cabin standards and cabin lighting to remain active. The contained system can house aquatic plants, aquatic invertebrates, or aquatic vertebrates and remains viable for up to 18 months. The unit provides long-term propagation of aquatic species to understand the effects of microgravity on species multigenerational propagation.Facility Manager(s)
Information PendingCo-Facility Manager(s)
Paragon Space Development Corporation, Tucson, AZ, United States
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)Expeditions Assigned
1,2,3,4Previous ISS Missions
The Autonomous Biological System has flown on several space shuttle, Mir, and International Space Station missions.
Paragon's patented Autonomous Biological System (ABS) provides for the long-term growth and breeding of aquatic plants and animals in a controlled environment, isolated from the spacecraft's life support system and cabin atmosphere contaminants and requiring little or no crewmember interaction.
The ABS consists of two cylinders of Lexan topped by aluminum screw caps. The clear Lexan allows for continuous observation by the crewmember or by ground personnel via video camera. Nutrients and elemental compounds are introduced during system loading, allowing for a self-regulating environment that maintains adequate nutrients and oxygen for the experiment subjects through continuous day-night cycles.
The ABS has proven to be adaptable to different flight environments, including the Progress, space shuttle, Mir, and the International Space Station (ISS), and has displayed a robust ability to recover from unplanned events. The ABS has been successfully adapted to support Halocaridina rubra (red shrimp), Hyalella azteca (freshwater amphipod), and Heterandria Formosa (mosquito fish), demonstrating its ability to be used with various species in space.
Each ABS cylinder can hold approximately 3.6 L, has dimensions of 22.9 cm x 15.2 cm x 7.6 cm, and weighs less than 2 kg. If ISS lighting is used, no power is required; if an internal light source is used, less than 15 W is needed. The ABS should be kept in a cabin air temperature of 18.3 to 29.4 °C.
The Autonomous Biological System (ABS) requires late load into the spacecraft, less than 48 hours before launch. If an internal light source is used, the crewmember will initiate the light on-light off sequence.