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A gowned technician passes through an air shower to blast off dust and dirt particles before entering the strictly controlled clean room attached to ESTEC’s Life, Physical Sciences and Life Support Laboratory.
This 35 sq. m ‘ISO Class 1’ clean room provides an ultra-clean environment, suitable for working on flight hardware requiring a very high level of cleanliness and sterilisation, such as instruments for Europe’s 2016 and 2018 ExoMars missions.
The clean room is fitted with a dry heat steriliser, ultra-clean gas lines, exhaust line and IT infrastructure, with all its air passing through a two-stage filtering system.
The chamber’s cleanliness is such that it contains less than 10 smoke-sized particles per cubic metre; an equivalent sample of the outside air could well contain millions.