Mini-Centrifuge, Biomedical, 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 battery-powered mini-centrifuge was used in biomedical experiments on Space Shuttle missions. Crew members often drew blood samples in flight for later analysis by researchers on Earth. It is common practice to spin blood and urine samples in a centrifuge to separate their contents. Because the size and weight of everything matters in space, a mini-centrifuge, smaller than ones typically seen in labs and medical offices, was sufficient for the task. NASA gave this item and a variety of other experiment equipment to the Museum when no longer needed for spaceflight.