Status Report

Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG) Results

By SpaceRef Editor
August 7, 2002
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Engineer Peggy Whitson helped to troubleshoot the newly-installed MSG
during the week of July 15, 2002. She restored the connection with the
Station’s Ethernet, allowing the ground-based team to run diagnostics.
The Space Acceleration Measurement System II (SAMS-II)
sensor has not been providing data on the MSG’s vibration environment.
The team believe they have isolated the problem and continue to work to
correct it. "We experienced some normal startup difficulties,"
reported Charles Baugher, MSG discipline scientist for NASA MSFC, "but
nothing unexpected for a new piece of equipment like this."

Whitson has already conducted processing runs of the first MSG experiment,
Solidification Using a Baffle in Sealed Ampoules

follows in the footsteps of two successful gloveboxes, the Middeck Glovebox
and the Spacelab Glovebox, which flew on the Shuttle and the Russian Mir
space station. These were built by an engineering company in The Netherlands,
Bradford Engineering B.V., in collaboration with Marshall Space Flight

MSG is a larger, more complex glovebox than its predecessors, offering
a range of support options via its dedicated rack. After extensive testing
by the manufacturer, Astrium, and NASA at Kennedy Space Center, MSG was
declared ready for flight at the end of 2001 and was delivered to the
Station in June 2002 by STS-111. MSG is the first rack facility installed
on Station provided by the European Space Agency (ESA).


the arrival of the MSG, messy or potentially hazardous experiments could
only fly on the Station inside self-contained, semi- or fully-autonomous
payloads. More complex experiments requiring hands-on attention by the
crew were not an option. The MSG fills this requirement for a hands-on,
sealed, and safe laboratory space, making it possible for scientists to
fly a wide range of combustion, materials, fluids, and basic physical
sciences experiments.

Web Sites

  • Room
    to let; easy access; all utilities: Space station glovebox ready for scientists
    to start designing experiments

  • Middeck
    Glovebox (MGBX) Facility

  • Spacelab Glovebox

  • SpaceRef staff editor.