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.