Human Research Facility - 2 (HRF-2) - 02.22.17

Summary | Overview | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
Human Research Facility-2 (HRF-2) provides an on-orbit laboratory that enables human life science researchers to study and evaluate the physiological, behavioral and chemical changes induced by space flight. Research performed using HRF-2 provides data to help scientists understand how the human body adapts to long-duration space flight.
Science Results for Everyone
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The following content was provided by Suzanne McCollum, and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Facility Details

OpNom: HRF-2

Facility Manager(s)
Suzanne McCollum, Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, United States

Facility Representative(s)
Information Pending

NASA Johnson Space Center, Human Research Program, Houston, TX, United States

Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Sponsoring Organization
NASA Research Office - Human Research Program (NASA Research-HRP)

ISS Expedition Duration
April 2005 - March 2016; March 2016 - February 2018

Expeditions Assigned

Previous Missions
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Facility Description

Facility Overview
HRF-2 consists of hardware mounted in a rack that is based on the EXpedite the PRocessing of Experiments to Space Station (EXPRESS) rack design as well as separate equipment kept in stowage and brought out as needed.

Human Research Facility 2 (HRF-2) was launched aboard STS-114 (Discovery) July 26, 2005 and was installed in the U.S. Lab. During Expedition 21/22, it was moved to the Columbus Module. HRF-2 provides power, command and data handling, cooling air and water, pressurized gas, and vacuum to experiments.

The International Space Station (ISS) moderate temperature cooling loop is extended into the HRF to keep the rack at ambient temperature. Each payload can use up to 500W of power and the sum of all payloads can use up to 2000 W of power. HRF-2 is connected to ISS video services and Ethernet, which allow the ISS and ground operations crews to control payloads. The rack has front-panel access ports for the laptop, vacuum, deployed payloads, and nitrogen delivery system.

Descriptions of the hardware housed in HRF-2 are listed below:

The Refrigerated Centrifuge (RC) separates biological substances of various densities by spinning at a high rate of speed. The RC can hold samples between 0.5 and 50 ml in size. The investigator can select a speed between 500 and 5000 revolutions per minute (rpm) and a duration between 1 and 60 minutes. Samples are centrifuged at ambient temperature (refrigeration is not available at this time).

The portable computer (HRF PC) is used to install and execute software that supports the experiments. It is used to control equipment; to collect and store data, crew notes, and equipment notes; and to provide uplink and downlink capabilities.

Two Cooling Stowage Drawers (CSDs) provide stowage for equipment. When in operation, the drawers maintain a uniform temperature by improving air circulation in the rack to remove the heat generated by individual powered payloads that use HRF-2.

An HRF 8PU Utility Drawer provides stowage for consumables with added radio-frequency identification (RFID) capability built in that automates inventory of the RFID-tagged contents without crew intervention (installation of a second drawer is planned during Expedition 45/46). The drawer also provides power and data connections on the front panel for deployed equipment requiring rack power or data.

The Pulmonary Function System (PFS) is the result of a collaboration between NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) to develop pulmonary physiology instrumentation. This Photoacoustic-based Analyzer System (PAS) uses the Photoacoustic Analyzer Module (PAM), Pulmonary Function Module (PFM), and Gas Delivery System (GDS). Data from this system can be downlinked or archived for analysis.

The PAM, developed by ESA, determines the concentration of respired gas components that may contain significant concentrations of nitrogen and water vapor.

The Pulmonary Function Module (PFM), when operated with the PAM and the GDS, is capable of taking many cardiovascular and respiratory measurements, including breath-by-breath lung capacity and cardiac output.

The GDS is a subcomponent of the Pulmonary Function System (PFS). The GDS provides gases for calibration of the PFS and for inspiration as part of respiratory protocols, which can be used to calculate the cardiovascular and cardiopulmonary parameters for metabolic analysis.

HRF-2 was originally launched with the following components: RC, Space Linear Acceleration Mass Measurement Device (SLAMMD), Workstation 2, and PFS. During Expedition 11, the Gas Analyzer System for Metabolic Analysis Physiology (GASMAP) was moved to HRF-2 from Human Research Facility Rack 1 (HRF-1) and SLAMMD was moved from HRF-2 to HRF-1. The GASMAP and Workstation 2 were returned to Earth during Expedition 23. A passive 8PU stowage drawer was removed during Expedition 39/40 and an HRF 8PU Utility Drawer was installed in its place. Swap of a second passive 8PU stowage drawer with an RFID-capable Utility Drawer is planned for Expedition 45/46.

Payloads within the Human Research Facility 2 (HRF-2) can operate independently of each other or together in various configurations regardless of their cooling and power needs and the flight schedule. The HRF power converter delivers 120V of direct current (DC) power from the utility outlet panel to the rack and converts it to 28 Vdc for distribution to the payloads. Payload computer and video operations can be conducted from the ground or on the International Space Station. The crew performs payload operations and hardware checks whenever required.

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Facility Operations
Subrack elements of Human Research Facility 2 (HRF-2) have supported the Biochem Profile, Cardio Ox, Fluid Shifts, Microbiome, Nutrition, Periodic Fitness Evaluation with Oxygen Uptake Measurement (PFE-OUM), Pro K, Repository, Rodent Research, Salivary Markers, and Twins Study experiments as well as ESAs CARD, Energy, and SOLO experiments, CSA’s BP Reg and Vascular experiments, and ASI’s Drain Brain experiment. NASA’s Functional Immune, ESA’s MoCISS and Sarcolab-3, and CSA’s Marrow and Vascular Echo experiments will also utilize HRF-2.

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Decadal Survey Recommendations

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Results/More Information

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Results Publications

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Ground Based Results Publications

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ISS Patents

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Related Publications

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Related Websites

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NASA Image: ISS043E120898 - View of the Human Research Facility (HRF) Rack 2 in the Columbus module taken by the Expedition 43 crew.

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image NASA Image: ISS011E11380 - Human Research Facility 2 (HRF-2) installed on the International Space Station during Expedition 11. This image shows HRF-2 in the launch configuration prior to relocation of the Space Linear Acceleration Mass Measurement Device (SLAMMD) to HRF-1 and the Gas Analyzer System for Metabolic Analysis Physiology (GASMAP) to HRF-2.
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image NASA Image: ISS012E22641 - This image shows the configuration of HRF-2 during Increment 12. The GASMAP was installed into the slot that the SLAMMD had occupied. The SLAMMD is currently located in HRF-1.
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image NASA Image: ISS013E64486 - European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Reiter, Expedition 13 flight engineer, prepares the Human Research Facility 2(HRF-2) rack for the scheduled upgrade of the Pulmonary Function System (PFS) experiment in the Destiny laboratory of the International Space Station.
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image NASA Image: ISS025E013212 - Overall view of the Human Research Facility (HRF) Rack 2 in the Columbus module taken by the Expedition 25 crew.
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