On Saturday, December 4, 2004 -- the 86th birthday of Robert Ettinger -- the HSSV-2 cryostat was taken out of service when we moved Mr. Ettinger's mother and first wife to one of our newer HSSV-6 cryostats. The HSSV-2 has been in service since April 24, 1988, and was the oldest cryostat in use until December 4th. The efficiency of the unit was far less than that of the newest ones in terms of liquid nitrogen boil-off per patient. And it required frequent pumping to get enough of a vacuum to keep liquid nitrogen use to a low multiple of that seen in the newer units. The filter would have required replacement so we decided it was time to retire the old workhorse. Mr. Ettinger attended to watch the operation.
For background on the Cryonics Institute cryostats, see:
Below is a collection of photos taken on December 4th. Facilities manager Andy Zawacki cut the dome of the HSSV-2, removed perlite insulating material and packed the walls with fiberglass wool ("cotton candy") insulation in preparation. At 8 pm Andy and David Fulcher moved the two patients to the new cryostat while Robert Ettinger and Ben Best watched (and photographed). The move lasted less than two hours.
Historians may someday anguish over the loss of this precious artifact, but
the remains of the HSSV-2 were placed in the dumpster and removed.