ADvanced Space Experiment Processor

The ADvanced Space Experiment Processor (ADSEP) biotechnology facility contains three independent thermal zones, each accommodating one cassette, and an internal computer that controls the internal functions of all three cassettes. Cassettes can house bioseparation methods, diffusion-cell and mixing-cell capabilities, and cell-culturing equipment.

ADSEP is a fully automated multi-use processing facility for interface with SpaceX’s Cargo Dragon, Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus or the ISS EXPRESS Rack.

Space Experiment Cassettes

There are several applications for the Techshot ADSEP system:

Cell Dynamics
Cell culturing

Fluid Processing
C-elegans research
Bacteria research
Squid research
Uniform biopharmaceutical crystallization

Biphasic separation

ADSEP Biotechnology Facility

  • Three independent processing modules can either be programmed for totally automated operation.
  • Processing temperature (8 – 40 degrees C) can be independently monitored and controlled in each of three modules.
  • Accommodates up to three cassettes, each capable of processing biological samples in space.
  • From half-stepped mode, ADSEP is capable of conducting up to 44 separate experiments in each cassette assembly.
  • Biological samples are loaded (preflight) into cassettes that provide appropriate levels of containment.
  • Processing module doors are opened with two thumb screws, allowing cassettes to be installed in, and removed from, each processing module on orbit.
  • Cassette interfaces with the processing module through blind-mating power/data connector on back side of cassette.

Astronaut Christina Koch preparing to load an experiment cassette inside Techshot’s ADSEP hardware aboard the International Space Station.


Typical ADSEP workflow:
  • Modify the existing hardware or building new hardware to fit the experimenter’s needs.
  • Provide flight-equivalent hardware to the investigator’s laboratory months before launch.
  • Perform all paperwork and meeting milestones to qualify the experiment for flight technically: meeting safety/containment requirements and attending all reviews.
  • Work with the investigator(s) at the launch site to build up the payload and arranging hand over (usually late-loading) to launch officials.
  • Collect and returning the payload during post-landing recovery operations.