In early November, astronauts installed the newest Bradford glovebox on the International Space Station (ISS). The Life Sciences Glovebox (LSG) will provide with 450 liters the largest work volume currently available on-orbit, and will supplement the Bradford gloveboxes already in the ISS.

The LSG was originally developed and built in the 2000 to 2005 timeframe and at the time it was intended inside a laboratory module of the ISS. When this module was cancelled in the wake of the accident with the space shuttle Colombia, the LSG was put into storage. Two years ago an opportunity was identified to launch the LSG and place the facility in the Japanse Kibo module on the ISS. The LSG was successfully carried to the space station last September by the unmanned HTV-7 cargo supply spacecraft. Since the arrival of the HTV-7 at the space station, astronauts have unpacked the LSG and installed it in its permanent location inside Kibo. Commissioning of the LSG will continue well into November, after which the large facility will be available for the first science experiments.

In addition to the large work volume, the LSG allows two astronauts simultaneous interaction with an experiment inside and improved air handling and filtration systems making it optimal suited for biological and life sciences research. The LSG was designed from the start to feature a large removable front window which can be fully opened to gain access to the work volume.

In addition to featuring unique capabilities, the new LSG will also off-load some of the work performed in the Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG). MSG was launched in 2002 and received a major upgrade last year with the introduction to a removable front window to replace the original fixed front window. Since 2002 the MSG has already accumulated more than 43,000 hours of operations and it is one of the most intensively used science facilities on the station.