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ISS Equipment

As part of the flight contract that Mark is concluding with the Russian Space Agency, he has included the ability to use existing science equipment in the Russian segment of the International Space Station (ISS) for science experiments of interest to Africa. This equipment represents the state of the art in space science. There are already some experiments in progress on the ISS but to the extent that we can work around these this equipment will be available for Mark to use during his flight.

Medical Equipment

There is a substantial amount of equipment to monitor human physiological parameters during space flight. Some of this equipment allows for real-time downlinking of data to ground-based doctors.


This is the primary medical station on the ISS, used to measure many physiological and biological parameters of the ISS crew. It allows for real-time downlinking of the data it produces to the crew surgeons at mission control. This equipment can measure electrocardiograms (several types), sphygmograms of various arteries, pulsograms, kinetocardiograms, blood pressure (several methods), and several rheograms. Here is a technical specification (mostly in English, partially in Russian, multi-page JPG).


I think this handheld device measures urine parameters on ISS. See the specifications as JPG document.

Ecosphere Set

This handheld device is used to detect microbes in the air in the ISS. Basically it's a a hairdryer with a petric dish attachment so air can be sampled and any microbes in the air can be cultured directly. Used to look for fungi, bacteria etc floating around in the ISS air. See the specifications (JPG).

Hematocrit Set

I think this is a centrifuge to separate blood and measure the amount of plasma. See the specifications (JPG).


I think this is a urine sample tester. See the specification (JPG, in Russian)

Plasma 3 Centrifuge

Centrifuge to allow for separation of blood samples (and possibly other fluid samples). See specification (JPG).

Plasma 3 Refrigirator

Allows freezing of samples and maintenance of constant temperature to very high levels of accuracy. See specification (JPG)

Plasma 3 Container

Allows for transport of frozen samples to earth. Will keep a sample freezing for at least 10 hours (transition from -22 to -9 will take longer than 10 hours). Return time for Soyuz mission is usually less than 8 hours, so this lets us take a frozen sample from the fridge and return it to ground still frozen. See specification (JPG).

Mass Meter

It's difficult to measure mass when there is no gravity. This mass meter uses the vibration of a spring to assess mass relatively accurately, even for floppy big things like human beings. See specification (JPG).

Landing Countdown to 05:51 05 May

Landing Complete!

The Team
Mark Shuttleworth
Dale Cupido
Karen Sharwood
Lara Keytel
Danie Barry
Freddy Khan
Vaughan Oosthuizen
Ravi Naidoo
Vuyo Dwane
Richard Mills
Nicolette Cronje
Wayne Derman
Peter Ribton
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