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Center Innovation Fund: JSC CIF

Science Fridge/Freezer

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Future missions will need compact, efficient refrigeration systems for science as well as other uses. NASA should take advantage of the latest state-of-the-art technology on Earth and leverage that for use in space. Space Shuttle had vapor compression refrigerator-freezers, but they required servicing after every mission due to their design to avoid micro-gravity issues. Space Station has thermoelectric refrigerator-freezers which avoid micro-gravity issues, but are not energy efficient. There is no currently acceptable vapor compression refrigerator-freezer (the mainstay of refrigeration on Earth) for use in space. Utilizing a very small, oil-free compressor that has just come onto the market, we will build a proof-of-concept micro-gravity compatible vapor compression refrigerator-freezer that can be used to store medical and other science samples at temperatures from +5C to -20C. Space Station thermoelectric refrigerator-freezers have had some in-flight issues.  Thus, this proposal addresses the challenge of Space Health and Medicine.

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Primary U.S. Work Locations and Key Partners

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Project Management

Project Duration

Technology Maturity (TRL)

Technology Areas

Light bulb

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This is a historic project that was completed before the creation of TechPort on October 1, 2012. Available data has been included. This record may contain less data than currently active projects.