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Lab (Destiny)

Lab (Destiny) [NASA]

Lab or Destiny is the primary research laboratory for U.S. payloads, supporting a wide range of experiments and studies contributing to health, safety and quality of life for people all over the world. Science conducted on the station offers researchers an unparalleled opportunity to test physical processes in the absence of gravity.

The laboratory was designed to hold sets of modular racks that could be added, removed or replaced as necessary. They can contain fluid and electrical connectors, video equipment, sensors, controllers and motion dampeners to support whatever experiments are housed in them.

When it arrived at the station, Destiny had five racks housing electrical and life-support systems. Subsequent shuttle missions have delivered more racks and experiment facilities, including the Microgravity Science Glovebox, the Human Research Facility and five racks to hold various science experiments. Eventually, Destiny will hold up to 13 payload racks with experiments in human life science, materials research, Earth observations and commercial applications.

Destiny's window - which takes up the space of one rack - is an optical gem that makes possible the ability to shoot very high quality photos and video. Imagery captured from this window has given geologists and meteorologists the opportunity to study floods, avalanches, fires and ocean events such as plankton blooms in a way they have never seen before.

Before the station is complete, Destiny will be joined by laboratory modules sponsored by the National Space Development Agency of Japan, European Space Agency and Rosaviakosmos.

In addition to its role as a science facility, Destiny also contains the control center for the station's robotic arm operations.

The aluminum module is 8.5 meters long and 4.3 meters in diameter. The lab consists of three cylindrical sections and two endcones with hatches that can be mated to other station components. A 50.9-centimeter-diameter window is located on one side of the center module segment.

An exterior waffle pattern strengthens the hull of the lab. The exterior is covered by a debris shield blanket made of a material similar to that used in bulletproof vests on Earth. A thin aluminum debris shield has been placed over the blanket for additional protection.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Space station laboratory module
Operator: NASA
Contractors: Boeing
Equipment: ?
Configuration:
Propulsion: None
Power:
Lifetime:
Mass: 14515 kg
Orbit: 400 km × 400 km, 51.6 (typical)
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
Lab (Destiny) 2001-006B 07.02.2001 CC LC-39A Shuttle with Atlantis F23 (STS 98)