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article imageAstronauts figure out how to clean the ISS

By Tim Sandle     Jun 22, 2014 in Science
Houston - Cleaning and controlling debris on a space station is tricky work. Microgravity can turn gasses, dust, fluids and sharp objects into a floating hazard. A science team have come up with a solution.
The solution is a special container called a glovebox, or, more specially the Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG). The device has been trialled on-board the International Space Station (ISS).
Using the device, astronauts have been able to conduct hundreds of studies within the sealed, negative pressured, nine-cubic-foot work area. The MSG has been used for a wide range of microgravity research, including fluid physics, combustion science, materials science, biotechnology, fundamental physics and other investigations. This helps researchers looking to understand the role of gravity in basic physical and chemical interactions. Such precise work requires a thorough approach to cleaning and disinfection, for any remaining "contamination" can cause harm to astronauts or lead to experiments being ruined.
One problem remains with the device: how to clean it. A solution has been developed, according to NASA. The idea has been designed and manufactured by Huntsville's Teledyne Brown Engineering Inc. The decontamination system was designed with crew members' safety in mind by using high-power, ultraviolet light-emitting diodes (UV LEDs) to sanitize surfaces inside the MSG. Here the UV light is at sufficiently short wavelengths, is used to kill microorganisms.
The glovebox was developed by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, and the European Space Agency.
More about Cleaning, disinfection, Iss, Space station, Space
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