EXpedite the PRocessing of Experiments for Space Station Racks (EXPRESS Racks) - 08.15.18

Summary | Overview | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
EXpedite the PRocessing of Experiments for Space Station (EXPRESS) Racks are multipurpose payload rack systems that store and support research aboard the International Space Station (ISS). The EXPRESS Racks support science experiments in any discipline by providing structural interfaces, power, data, cooling, water, and other items needed to operate science experiments in space.
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by Annette Sledd, and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Facility Details

OpNom: EXPRESS

Facility Manager(s)
Annette Sledd, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL, United States

Facility Representative(s)
Shaun D. Glasglow, NASA Marshall Spaceflight Center, Huntsville, AL, United States

Developer(s)
Boeing, Huntsville, AL, United States
NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL, United States

Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Sponsoring Organization
Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD)

ISS Expedition Duration
March 2001 - December 2002; November 2002 - May 2003; April 2003 - September 2012; March 2013 - September 2015; September 2016 - April 2017

Expeditions Assigned
2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19/20,21/22,23/24,25/26,27/28,29/30,31/32,35/36,37/38,39/40,41/42,43/44,49/50

Previous Missions
Information Pending

Availability
Information Pending

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Facility Description

Facility Overview

With standardized hardware interfaces, the EXPRESS Rack enables quick, simple integration of multiple payloads aboard the International Space Station (ISS). The system is composed of elements that remain on the ISS and elements that travel back and forth between the ISS and Earth via various space vehicles. EXPRESS Rack facilities remain on orbit continually. Experiments are replaced in the EXPRESS rack as needed, remaining on the ISS for periods ranging from several weeks to several years, depending on the experiment's time requirements.
 
Payloads within any EXPRESS Rack facility can operate independently of one another, allowing for differences in temperature, power levels and schedules. These facilities provide stowage, power, data, command and control, video, water cooling, air cooling, vacuum exhaust, and nitrogen supplies to payloads. Each facility is housed in an International Standard Payload Rack (ISPR), a refrigerator-size container that acts as the facility’s exterior shell.
 
The EXPRESS Rack facilities are comprised of various subsystems that enable experiment operations. The Rack Interface Controller (RIC), EXPRESS Memory Unit (EMU), Payload Ethernet Hub Gateway (PEHG), EXPRESS Laptop Computer (ELC), EXPRESS Rack Thermal System, and the Solid State Power Controller Module (SSPCM).
 
Each of the 10 EXPRESS Rack facilities can support up to 10 small payloads resulting in a total capability to operate up to 96 experiments. Eight of the payload locations within an EXPRESS Rack have an internal volume of 2 ft³. The remaining 2 locations are International Subrack Interface Standard (ISIS) drawers, which have an internal volume of 1.3 ft³. Experiments in these facilities may be directly controlled by the on-board crew or remotely controlled from the ground. Ground control is initiated by either the Payload Developer or the Payload Rack Officer (PRO) on-duty at the Payload Operations and Integration Center (POIC) at Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in Huntsville, Alabama. Linked by a computer to all payload racks aboard the space station, the PRO routinely checks rack integrity, temperature control and the proper working conditions of the experiments.
 
The EXPRESS Racks schedule to the ISS is as follows: EXPRESS Racks 1 and 2 launched to the ISS on STS-100/6A April 19, 2001, EXPRESS Racks 4 and 5 launched to the ISS on STS-105/7A.1 August 10, 2001, EXPRESS Rack 3 launched to the ISS on STS-111/UF-2 June 5, 2002, EXPRESS Rack 6 launched to the ISS on STS-126/ULF2 November 14, 2008, EXPRESS Rack 7 launched to the ISS on STS-131/19A on April 5, 2010, EXPRESS Rack 8 launched to the ISS on STS-133/ULF5 on February 24, 2011 and EXPRESS Racks 9 and 10 are scheduled to launch on HTV-7 in 2018.
 
EXPRESS Racks were developed to provide ISS accommodations for small, subrack payloads. The EXPRESS Rack system also includes several methods to verify functional interfaces between the experiment and the rack prior to flight. Depending on the specific experiment needs, the verifications are performed at the MSFC in the EXPRESS Functional Checkout Unit or at the Payload Developer site. Trainer racks are also available for crew members to learn how to operate the EXPRESS Racks prior to flight. Standard hardware and software interfaces provided by the EXPRESS Rack simplify the analytical and physical integration processes and facilitate simpler ISS payload development. The EXPRESS Rack has also formed the basis for the U.S. life sciences payload racks.

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Operations

Facility Operations
As of 2018, the racks have over 600,000 hours of operations supporting numerous scientific investigations and are generally operating continuously on board the ISS.

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Decadal Survey Recommendations

Information Pending

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Results/More Information

Results Publications

    Pelfrey JJ, Jordan LP.  An EXPRESS Rack Overview and support for Microgravity Research on the International Space Station (ISS). 46th Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit, Reno, NV; 2008

    Counts SM, Sledd A.  EXPRESS Rack Capabilities and Lessons Learned. Conference and Exhibit on International Space Station Utilization, Cape Canaveral, FL; 2001

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Ground Based Results Publications

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ISS Patents

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Related Publications

    Cornelius R, Frank JD.  International Space Station (ISS) payload autonomous operations past, present and future. SpaceOps 2016, Daejeon, Korea; 2016 May 16-20 16 pp. [Timeliner scripting and automation system.]

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Related Websites

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Imagery

image NASA Image: STS110-359-009 - Pilot Stephen N. Frick poses by EXPRESS Rack 1 in the U.S. Laboratory during the STS-110 mission (Expedition 4).
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image NASA Image: ISS004-332-034 - Astronaut Dan Bursch works at EXPRESS Rack 2 in the U.S. Laboratory during ISS Expedition 4. The protective ARIS netting which resembles large rubber bands is shown above the crewmember.
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image NASA Image: ISS015E34435 - EXPRESS Rack 3 with the European Module Cultivation System installed. The photo was taken during ISS Expedition 15. The rack is composed of storage lockers.
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image NASA Image: ISS009E05444 - The image shows a front view of EXpedite the PRocessing of Experiments to Space Station EXPRESS Rack 4 in the U.S. Laboratory, Destiny, during Expedition 9. Equipment visible in the EXPRESS Rack includes the Biotechnology Specimen Temperature Controller (BSTC) and the Gas Supply Module (GSM) support hardware for the CBOSS (Cellular Biotechnology Operations Support Systems) investigations, and the Advanced Thermoelectric Refrigerator/Freezer (ARCTIC). Also visible is the Advanced Astroculture Support System (ADVASC-SS) hardware and the Space Acceleration Measurement System (SAMS) II.
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NASA Image: ISS006E20960 - EXpedite the PRocessing of Experiments to Space Station EXPRESS Rack 5, LAB1S5, and Mobile Servicing System Rack 1 (MSS-1) in the U.S. Laboratory, Destiny, during Expedition 6. The Advanced Thermoelectric Refrigerator/Freezer (ARCTIC) supply, high-rate frame multiplexer, and PCS-1 laptop computer are visible.

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NASA Image: ISS018E018928 - EXpedite the PRocessing of Experiments to Space Station EXPRESS Rack 6 in the U.S. Laboratory, Destiny, during Expedition 18.

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NASA Image: S131E008549 - Crew member Naoko Yamazaki as she works to transfer EXpedite the PRocessing of Experiments to Space Station EXPRESS Rack 7 from the Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM) during STS-131/Expedition 23 Joint Docked Ops.

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NASA Image: ISS041E078070 - Reid Wiseman, Expedition 41 Flight Engineer (FE), during General Laboratory Active Cryogenic ISS Experiment Refrigerator (GLACIER) install from the EXPRESS Rack 2 (LAB101_G1/J1). Photo was taken during Expedition 41.

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NASA Image: ISS022E015852 - Survey view of the Expedite the Processing of Experiments to the Space Station (EXPRESS) Rack 4, JPM/1F5 in the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) Japanese Pressurized Module (JPM). Photo taken during Expedition 22.

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NASA Image: ISS022E015850 - Survey view of the Expedite the Processing of Experiments to the Space Station (EXPRESS) Rack 4, JPM/1F5 in the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) Japanese Pressurized Module (JPM). Photo taken during Expedition 22.

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