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[en] Highlights: • A miniature rotary compressor by ASPEN company was modified. • The modified compressor can be employed in microgravity. • Performance of upright compressor is superior to inverted mode in most cases. • Performance curves of system with inverted compressor are obtained. • Experimental results of compressor inverted and upright are compared. - Abstract: Vapor compression heat pump is a new concept of thermal control system and refrigerator for future space use. Compressor is a key component in the vapor compression heat pump. Development of compressor capable of operating in both microgravity (10 E-6 g) and lunar (1/6 g) environments is urgently needed for space thermal control systems based on heat pump technique. In this paper, a miniature rotary compressor by ASPEN company was modified to realize acceptable compressor lubrication and oil circulation in microgravity environments. An experimental system was built up to check the performance of the modified compressor subjected to microgravity. A performances comparison of inverted compressor with upright one was made. The influences of operating parameters such as refrigerant charge, cooling water temperature as well as compressor speed on the performances of vapor compression heat pump were investigated. The results show that the modified miniature rotary compressor in inverted mode can operate stably in a long period, which indicates that the modified compressor can be employed in microgravity environments. Compressor discharge temperature increased or decreased while COP changed more obviously with cooling water temperature and speed in microgravity. In most cases, performance of the upright compressor is superior to that of the inverted one. But when the compressor speed is from 1500 rpm to 2500 rpm or the coolant temperature is between 20 and 25 degrees, the performance of inverted compressor is better. The highest discharge temperature of the inverted compressor can be as high as 1.7 times that of the upright one. The maximum of heating COP and cooling COP of upright compressor is respectively 1.21 and 1.16 times that of inverted compressor. The study of modified miniature rotary compressor on gravity-independence provides an experimental basis and lays foundation for space applications.