Year of Publication

2011

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME)

Document Type

Thesis

College

Engineering

Department

Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. John R. Baker

Abstract

This thesis investigates the design of a CubeLab Module frame to facilitate biological research aboard the International Space Station (ISS). With the National Laboratory designation of the ISS by the United States Congress the barriers for use of the facility have been lowered for commercial and academic entities, allowing greater volume and diversity in the research that can be done. Researchers in biology and other areas could benefit from development and adoption of a plug-and-play payload containment system for use in the microgravity/space environment of the ISS. This research includes design and analysis of such a system. It also includes production and testing of a prototype. The relevant NASA requirements are documented, and they were considered during the design phase. Results from finite element analyses to predict performance of a proposed design under expected service conditions are reported. Results from functional testing of the prototype are also provided. A discussion of future work needed before the structure outlined in this thesis can become commercially viable is also presented.

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