MSL provides capabilities for:
- processing of Sample Cartridge Assemblies (leak-tight containers for material samples, sensors and stimuli)
- The SCA houses a sealed sample ampoule, or crucible, containing the sample to be processed. It also contains instrumentation for temperature measurement and cartridge integrity monitoring.
- SCAs can be processed in two different furnaces: A Low Gradiant Furnace (LGF) and a Solidification and Quench Furnace (SQF). Maximum temperature in both furnaces is 1400 °C.
- Exchange of Furnace Inserts on orbit.
Precise experiment control, in particular concerning temperature profiles and growth speed.
- Solid State Power Control Module for power conversion, conditioning, and distribution.
- Master Controller provides command and control capability.
- Thermal and Environmental Control System provides cooling and fire detection and suppression.
- Vacuum Access System provides access to the ISS Vacuum System
- Rack Power Switch (RPS): A single switch to remove all power from the rack
Various experiment diagnostics and stimuli
- Video Box provides signal switching conversion and downlink capability.
- Crew Interface Port for connecting a portable computer.
- Active Rack Isolation System attenuates vibratory disturbances between the rack and the ISS structure.
- Cage: Structure provided for mounting hardware in the left side of the rack.