Air Cleaner, Orbiter Cabin, Space Shuttle

Display Status:

This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

Collection Item Summary:

Fresh air is essential for astronauts’ health and well-being inside a sealed spacecraft. This fan was part of the space shuttle’s cabin air revitalization system, which constantly circulated and filtered air to remove heat, humidity, carbon dioxide, odors, and particulates.

Two such fans were located under the crew cabin floor, with only one in use at a time. Air circulated from the fan to two lithium hydroxide canisters that filtered out the carbon dioxide and odors, and then to a heat exchanger that handled the heat and humidity. Hair, lint, and any other particles were trapped by filters on the air ducts and routinely vacuumed by the crew. Operating at the 300 setting, one fan could freshen the shuttle cabin’s air volume every seven minutes or about eight times an hour.

NASA transferred this fan and many other items to the Museum after the space shuttle program ended.