International Space Station (ISS)

In March 2001, Space Shuttle Discovery (Mission STS-102) was launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, carrying the first major experiments for the ISS laboratory module, Destiny. The experiments were transported in special payload racks, fitted with space-qualified versions of our rugged ATR enclosure. To meet NASA requirements and the demands of the Shuttle vehicle launch and ISS environment, the enclosure included a variety of special features, including a radiation–hardened power supply unit. The equipment is a key part of the EXpedite the PRocessing of Experiments to the Space Station (EXPRESS) Rack program. EXPRESS Rack accepts International Standard Payload Racks (ISPRs), designed to allow the efficient integration of experiments into the ISS laboratory module. Computers attached to the EXPRESS Rack enable ISS crew to control the rack and its scientific payloads, while back on Earth researchers can also control and monitor their experiments. Regarded as the centerpiece of the ISS, the Destiny laboratory module is a state-of-the-art facility enabling scientific research that cannot be performed on Earth. It provides an orbital laboratory for long-term research with variable gravitational conditions. Research in biology, chemistry, physics, ecology and medicine is made possible using the most modern technological tools available. The laboratory is already yielding a stream of findings from a planned series of science and technology experiments that continue with each new mission. For more information concerning this program: