TES-COS Unit, Protein Crystal Growth Experiment Apparatus, 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:

Astronauts used this Thermal Enclosure System-Crystal Observation System (TES-COS) for protein crystal growth experiments on the Space Shuttle. The surrounding Thermal Enclosure System controlled the temperature for the experiment chambers inside. An internal video camera (COS) permitted observation of crystal growth in each of six chambers, so researchers could determine which conditions and solution concentrations were best for promoting the growth of a particular protein crystal. Better understanding of proteins is important for medical, drug, and agricultural research.

The technical team who developed this equipment gave it to the Museum in 2012 when they began using a newer, more capable version.

Collection Item Long Description:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum

Restrictions & Rights

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

Credit Line

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


Aluminum, plastic


3-D: 45.7 x 53.3 x 55.9cm (18 x 21 x 22 in.)

Country of Origin

United States of America


EQUIPMENT-Scientific Devices

Inventory Number


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