At the end of Metroid II: Return of Samus, Samus Aran encountered a Metroid Egg, the last of the species after she exterminated them, and it hatched in front of her, producing a baby. She spared it after being unable to bring herself to kill it, and took it with her, bringing it to the Space Science Academy to study. The Lab Workers research it and discover that its energy-draining abilities can be used in reverse, to restore energy, thus possibly helping them to save the galaxy from its energy crisis.
Samus left the academy to seek a new bounty, but returned when she collected a Distress Signal from the station. Upon return, the entire colony was in disrepair, and all the Lab Workers had been killed. Continuing on into the station, Samus found the baby, and just before she could secure it, Ridley appeared before her. Although in shock that her nemesis managed to survive, Samus fought him bravely until he lowered her energy to critical levels. Samus fired one final blast at Ridley, causing him to drop the baby's capsule, but Samus failed to rescue it, as Ridley quickly recollected it. Ridley programmed the station's Main Computer to engulf the facility in a self-destruction protocol. Samus escaped in under a minute, and pursued Ridley to Zebes, with nothing she could do to stop the station's destruction. Engulfed with rage, Samus landed on Zebes and immediately began an expedition for the baby, turning Zebes over in search of it.
The Space Science Academy had what appears to be incubation chambers, an Elevator, automatic doors, computer banks, a self-destruct sequence, and isolation/study tubes. The baby was studied in a central Lab, which is depicted on the Super Metroid Title Screen.