Polar (Polar) - 02.13.19

Summary | Overview | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
Polar is a Cold Stowage managed facility that provides transport and storage of science samples at cryogenic temperatures (-80ºC) to and from the International Space Station (ISS). Polar operates on 75 W supplied power and uses air cooling as its heat rejection method. Polar can accommodate up to 12.75 liters of sample volume and 20 lbm including sample support equipment.
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

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

OpNom: Polar

Facility Manager(s)
Elizabeth P. Hayley, NASA JSC, Houston, TX, United States

Facility Representative(s)
DAVID PAUL RAY, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, United States

University of Alabama at Birmingham - Engineering and Innovative Technology Development, 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
September 2014 - March 2016; March 2016 - October 2019

Expeditions Assigned

Previous Missions
Information Pending

Information Pending

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Facility Description

Facility Overview
Polar increases the existing Cold Stowage hardware fleet capability for launch and return of science. Polar is designed to operate as a hard mounted, single middeck locker equivalent within the EXPRESS Rack aboard the ISS, within the Space-X Dragon Capsule, and the Orbital Cygnus Capsule. The Polar operates as an air cooled payload in the EXPRESS Rack and Commercial off the Shelf (COTS) Vehicles. A fan is incorporated in the internal ductwork to provide airflow across the heat exchanger at the nominal 15 cubic feet per minute (CFM) provided by the EXPRESS Rack Avionics Air Assembly (AAA). Polar provides a single cryocooler along the left side of the unit to provide heat rejection from the cold volume. Polar's internal volume provides a generic interface that can be easily adapted for the multiple sample types that may use Polar and provides a configurable interface for various Unique Flight Support Equipment (UFSE). The Main 28 VDC Power connector J1 is as specified in SSP 52000-IDD-ERP. Data connector J2 is functionally equivalent to the connector called out in SSP 52000-IDD-ERP. Polar provides a Display and Keypad Assembly on its front panel for user interaction, as well as an Ethernet connection for a stand-alone Personal Computer (PC) based application that will allow monitoring and control of the Polar remotely. This application may be used as an EXPRESS laptop application, a ground based application, or a testing/setup application.

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Facility Operations

  • Cryogenic preservation (-80ºC) with 75W supplied power for a wide variety of samples aboard ISS.

  • Single Middeck Locker Equivalent (MLE).

  • Capable of transporting 12.75 liters of sample volume and 20 lbm including sample support equipment.

  • Active transport of samples to/from the ISS via the SpaceX Dragon and to the ISS via Orbital Cygnus.

  • Passive transport of samples to the ISS via the Dragon, Cygnus, ATV, HTV and Progress vehicles.

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Decadal Survey Recommendations

Information Pending

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Results/More Information

Information Pending

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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Polar Flight Assembly CBSE-F10120-1. Image courtesy of the University of Alabama at Birmingham Center for Biophysical Sciences and Engineering.

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NASA Image: ISS048E042382 - Documentation of Polar facility 2 installed in Expedite the Processing of Experiments to Space Station (ExPRESS) Rack 8, LAB1P4, in the Destiny U.S. Laboratory. Part number (P/N) is CBSE-F10120-1, serial number (S/N) is 008, barcode is POLAR008J. The newly-installed Space Automated Bioproduct Laboratories (SABL) 1 and 2, and Strata-1 are also in view.

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image NASA Image: ISS048E065818 - Flight engineer Kate Rubins poses for a photo next to Polar Facilities 2 and 4 installed in the SpaceX Dragon Commercial Resupply Services-9 (CRS-9) spacecraft for return to Earth.
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image NASA Image: ISS052E010012 - Photo taken of final configuration of the Polar 7 after installation in SpaceX Dragon-11 module.
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