Glovebox Light Table, 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:

This device projected light through samples from crystal growth experiments on the Space Shuttle. A small growth cell fit into the round opening in the light table. The light enabled close examination of crystals under a microscope, which astronauts set up in an enclosed glovebox. By examining samples, researchers learned which conditions, solutions, and proteins were best for promoting a particular protein's crystal growth. This knowledge is important for medical, drug, and agricultural research. A group of researchers actively involved in experiments for Shuttle flights gave this item and a large set of protein crystal growth equipment to the Museum.

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


Aluminum alloy, stainless steel, plastics, synthetic fabric, cotton, Velcro, rubber


  • 3-D: 12.7 x 11.4 x 9.5cm (5 x 4 1/2 x 3 3/4 in.)
  • 3-D (Hose): 34 × 2.2cm (13 3/8 × 7/8 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