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Scientists and payload developers can get more information on International Space Station research facilities by contacting the ISS Payloads Office or at 281-244-6187.

Human Research Facility - 2 (HRF-2)

OpNom: HRF-2

Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

Facility Overview

This content was provided by Cynthia P. Haven, and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.

Brief Facility Summary

The 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 the HRF-2 provides data to help scientists understand how the human body adapts to long-duration space flight.

Facility Manager(s)

  • Cynthia P. Haven, Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, United States
  • Co-Facility Manager(s)

    Information Pending

    Facility Developer(s)

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

    Sponsoring Agency

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

    Expeditions Assigned


    Previous ISS Missions

    Information Pending

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    Facility Description

    Facility Overview

    • Human Research Facility 2 (HRF-2) provides an on-orbit laboratory that enables scientists researching human life science to evaluate the physiological, behavioral, and chemical changes induced by space flight. Research performed using the HRF-2 provides data to help scientists understand how the human body adapts to long-duration space flight.

    • The 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.


    The 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. The 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. The 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.

    • 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 the PFS. During Expedition 11, the Gas Analyzer System for Metabolic Analysis Physiology (GASMAP) was moved to the HRF-2 from Human Research Facility Rack 1 (HRF-1) and the SLAMMD was moved from HRF-2 to HRF-1. The GASMAP and Workstation 2 were returned to Earth during Expedition 23.

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    Facility Operations

    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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    Results/More Information

    Information Pending

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    Information Pending

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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
  • NIH BioMed-ISS Meeting, 2009?HRF-2
  • NIH BioMed-ISS Meeting Video Presentation, 2009?HRF-2
  • ISS Medical Project
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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 current configuration of HRF-2. 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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    Information provided by the investigation team to the ISS Program Scientist's Office.
    If updates are needed to the summary please contact JSC-ISS-Program-Science-Group. For other general questions regarding space station research and technology, please feel free to call our help line at 281-244-6187 or e-mail at JSC-ISS-Payloads-Helpline.