Double Containment Transfer Tool for Liquid Sample Manipulation on the International Space Station
With the termination of flights of the U. S. space shuttle there has been an abrupt reduction in experimental sample return capabilities from the ISS. There is an immediate need for an increase in on-orbit analysis capabilities and therefore for sample-transfer capabilities. We have therefore designed and fabricated prototypes of transfer tools capable of removing and doubly containing up to 1.0 mL and up to 5.0 mL of Tox-Level-1 between devices on ISS. The Double Containment Transfer Tool accommodates commercially available syringe bodies and off-the-shelf needle-less luer fixtures in isolation from the spacecraft atmosphere. Experimental vessels can be modified with female connectors so they can be sampled by or can receive fluids from the Transfer Tool. Prototypes have been subjected to leakage, pressure, vacuum and performance testing, and prototypes are available for testing in experimenters’ laboratories.