The Biotechnology Refrigerator supported investigations by providing a thermally controlled environment for samples awaiting return to Earth for scientific analysis during the early building stages of the International Space Station.Facility Manager(s)
Wyle, Integrated Science and Engineering, Houston, TX, United States
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)Expeditions Assigned
3,4,5Previous ISS Missions
The Biotechnology Refrigerator (BTR) supported the Cellular Biotechnology Operations Science System (CBOSS) investigations aboard the International Space Station (ISS) by providing a stable environment for samples before their return to Earth during the early building stages of the ISS.
The refrigerated volume of the BTR provides 0.53 cubic feet of cold storage at 4 to 12 °C and allows for on-orbit crew access without the use of tools. It is designed so that equipment requiring servicing or maintenance is accessible without the removal of major components. The major components of the BTR are a single stowage locker assembly (middeck locker replacement), front panel controls and displays, a temperature-controlled volume referred to as the tub, and temperature monitoring and control circuitry. The locker is mounted to the Orbiter avionics bay wire tray for space shuttle flight and hard-mounted to the EXpedite the PRocessing of Experiments to Space Station (EXPRESS) rack backplate on the ISS.
The BTR uses fan-forced cabin air for cooling; the external BTR surface is cooled via cabin air as well. The BTR does not interface with the Expedite the Processing of Experiments to the Space Station (EXPRESS) Rack Avionics Air Assembly (AAA). Cooling air is drawn in through the front panel ports (i.e., front breather hardware) and exhausted from the side panels of the unit. Cabin air is also used to cool the electronics bay via two box fans mounted near the Electronics Control Board (ECB). The BTR is a single middeck locker replacement payload designed to operate on the space shuttle or the ISS.
The CBOSS investigations required a suite of interrelated hardware which included the following:
The BTR was transferred from the Space Shuttle to the International Space Station's EXPRESS Rack 4. There was a brief checkout to begin operations, and then minimal crew interaction was required to place samples inside the BTR. The refrigerated volume of BTR provided 0.53 cubic feet of cold storage at 4 degrees C - 12 degrees C. BTR was located in EXPRESS Rack 1, locker 6. It operates on 160 watts of continuous power and and is monitored over the Ethernet connection provided by the rack.
During operations on the ISS, the crew performed periodic preventive maintenance on BTR components. The BTR performed nominally during operations.