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BIOTESC provides the laboratory facilities of the CC Bioscience and Medical Engineering to the research teams and hardware developers for tests in the frame of the experiment preparation. The laboratories are used for the so-called "Science Validation Tests (SVT)" and "Experiment Sequence Tests (EST)". While the main emphasis of the SVTs is on the scientific feasibility of the experiment, the ESTS focus on the operational feasibility by testing the whole mission from beginning to end.
Depending on the type of test, BIOTESC provides the required technical equipment and consumables. Standard equipment includes two sterile work benches, an incubator, several freezers (-20°C, -80°C), refrigerators and centrifuges with various properties.
As part of the test preparations, the scientists and hardware developers provide a list of the required equipment and BIOTESC checks the availability and organizes additional equipment in case needed.
The Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan is the world's first and largest operational space launch facility, managed by Russia.Cell experiments which are launched with a Russian Soyuz or Progress spacecraft to the ISS are prepared and processed in laboratory facilities on site. On behalf of ESA, BIOTESC is responsible for these biological laboratories in Baikonur. The laboratory is usually set up a few days before launch, to be available for the cell preparation and filling of the hardware. It is then cleaned and closed shortly after launch, when the experiment is on its way to the ISS. BIOTESC is responsible for the operation and maintenance of this facility.
The laboratory consists of two main rooms, providing the standard equipment of a biology laboratory: work space for two science teams, two sterile work benches, fridges, freezers (-20°C and -80°C), an incubator, an autoclave and various other standard items. In general, the payload developers and science teams are requested to bring or send all their necessary tools and consumables (e.g. pipette tips, falcon tubes etc.).
Since there is no possibility in Baikonur to buy missing material on short notice, it is imperative that everything is available on site for the experiment preparation. In order to prepare the involved teams as effectively as possible, they are trained already in the frame of the Experiment Sequence Test (EST) to supply their own consumables. BIOTESC supports the teams with the compilation of a material list.
Ground Based Facilities