ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet (left) and NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson using the European Microgravity Science Glovebox in the International Space Station during Thomas' six-month Proxima mission 13 February 2017.
The device allows astronauts to run experiments in a sealed and controlled environment, isolated from the rest of the International Space Station.
The gloves are the access points through which astronauts manipulate experiments, in the field of material science, biotechnology, fluid science, combustion science and crystal growth research.
Scientific gloveboxes are common on Earth. To build a glovebox that will last at least ten years in weightlessness, however, was a much tougher proposition. The Microgravity Science Glovebox had to fit in a standard International Space Station equipment rack and be versatile enough to accommodate a huge range of experiments and materials - including a few that no one had thought of during the design stage.