Polar is a powered, single Middeck Locker equivalent size, -80°C freezer that is currently being developed for NASA Crew and Thermal Systems Division (CTSD). The primary purpose of Polar is to provide a -80°C freezing and storage unit for a broad range of science on the Intemational Space Station (ISS) and during transit to and from the ISS. Accommodating samples of various dimensions and shapes will provide NASA with the capability to satisfy the need of future science experiements conducted aboard the ISS. The Middeck Locker Equivalent (MLE) format of Polar will allow it the capability to interface with the widest selection of transport and usage locations and maximizes manifesting options for mission planners.
While on ISS, Polar will be actively powered and housed in an EXpedite the PRocessing of Experiments to Space Station (EXPRESS) Rack, operating as continuously as possible and providing a cryogenic cold volume.
The first three Polar flight units will be completed by June 2014, and five additional Polar flight units will be ready by June 2014. The first flight for a Polar unit is projected to be August 2014.