MERLIN (Microgravity Experiment Research Locker Incubator) is a thermal carrier that has been approved for flight in Middeck and EXPRESS Rack accomodations. MERLIN is a rear-breathing Middeck Locker (MDL) replacement incubator that provides a thermally controlled environment for scientific experiments in the International Space Station (ISS) EXPRESS Rack, or the now retired Space Shuttle. Also used to support Crew Galley Operations.

  • Advanced Single Middeck Locker Incubator / Freezer (Heat exchanger designed for both rear-air or water loop heat rejection)
  • Previous interfaces include Shuttle Middeck and SPACEHAB
  • Capable with interfacing with Commercial Orbital Transportation System (COTS) vehicles
  • 30+ pound payload with 16.5" (X) by 10.188" (Y) by 6.69" (Z) experiment volume (CG at the center of the experiment volume)
  • Payload volume for both conduction or convection cooling modes
  • Provides thermal control from -20oC to 48.5oCMERLIN_png_patch
  • Fully programmable temperature control including ramps and recovery modes can be configured / executed via the display, EXPRESS RIC, and remotely from the ground (both commanding and file uplink)
  • System temperature sensor readings (8)
  • Experiment temp. sensor readings (up to 12)
  • PID control temperature (derived)
  • A/D sensor readings (up to 10)
  • Digital I/O readings (8)
  • Last command status information
  • Error reporting/acknowledgement information
  • Data storage utilization status
  • Thermal control data


For more information, visit the NASA link below

MERLIN Fact Sheet

or contact MERLIN Project Manager, Dan Connor
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Imperial (in)

Metric (cm)

Strict Internal Dimmension 5.91 x 8.63 x 14.87   15.02 x 21.93 x 37.76
Total Internal Dimmension 6.64 x 9.05 x 15.08 16.86 x 22.99 x 38.30



Imperial (in3)

Metric (L)

Strict Internal Volume 759.63 12.45
Total Internal Volume 903.89 14.81





Water Cooled 48.5° to -20° 119.3° to -4°
Air Cooled 4° to 48.5° 39.2° to -119.3°