CRIM-CVDA Assembly, Protein Crystal Growth Experiment Apparatus, Shuttle


Display Status:

This object is on display in the Moving Beyond Earth exhibition at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

Collection Item Summary:

Astronauts used this crystal growth experiment equipment during Space Shuttle missions. The main goal of the experiments was to produce for scientific analysis large, high-quality crystals of selected proteins under controlled conditions in microgravity. Better knowledge of proteins is important in medical, drug, and agricultural research. The Commercial Protein Crystal Growth payload included this Commercial Refrigerator/Incubator Module (CRIM)--a generic carrier that controlled temperature--and the Commercial Vapor Diffusion Apparatus (CVDA) experiment inside. The technical team who developed this equipment gave it to the Museum after they began using a later model.

Collection Item Long Description:

Inventory Number


Credit Line

Gift of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Center for Biological Sciences and Engineering

Country of Origin

United States of America


steel, aluminum, plastic, foil, electronics, foam, velcro


3-D: 50.8 x 45.7 x 26.7cm (20 x 18 x 10 1/2 in.)

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum

Restrictions & Rights

Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum


EQUIPMENT-Scientific Devices