Mass Flow Controller from MKS Instruments Helps to Study Plasma in Space

Andover, Mass., - October 18, 2018 - MKS Instruments, Inc. (NASDAQ: MKSI) is proud to announce that another one of its GE50A Mass Flow Controller (MFC) products has been installed in the PK-4 Plasma Crystal Laboratory in the International Space Station  (ISS). The MFC is part of the latest Experiment Interface (ExpIF) Extension of the PK-4 laboratory that was installed in the European Columbus Research Module of the ISS on July 23, 2018. This mission was carried out under a program of and funded by the European Space Agency.

The PK-4 Plasma Crystal Laboratory was launched in 2014 to conduct an ongoing series of experiments to determine the behavior of low-temperature plasmas in space. PK-4 generates complex plasma crystals in a glass tube filled with inert gas. The data derived from various experiments with these complex plasmas can provide new insights into the physics of condensed materials, help to answer fundamental astrophysical questions and enable future applications in semiconductor technology and medicine.

The original PK-4 laboratory module already features a GE50A Mass Flow Controller and other MKS instruments such as the 750C High Pressure Baratron® Absolute Capacitance Manometer, a 640B Absolute Pressure Controller and a 910 Absolute Piezo Vacuum Transducer.

The GE50A is used to control the flow of Neon, Argon and mixtures of both gases. Its high accuracy and flexibility in terms of multi-gas, multi-range and communications were the main reasons for integrating the MKS GE50A in the new ExpIF extension module.

For additional information on the MKS Instruments General Purpose GE50A Mass Flow Controller, please visit

Please note that the view expressed herein can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of the European Space Agency.