The Refrigerated Centrifuge (RC), located in the Human Research Facility-2 (HRF-2) will allow the collection and in situ processing, such as density-based separation of fluid samples, which is integral to many biomedical experiments and to flight medicine in microgravity.Facility Manager(s)
Facility Developer(s) Information PendingSponsoring Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)Expeditions Assigned
11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19/20,21/22Previous ISS Missions
RC was launched with the Human Research Facility - 2 (HRF-2) during Expedition 11.
The Refrigerated Centrifuge (RC) is a mechanical device used to separate biological substances of differing densities. During on-orbit operations, the RC is mounted in the Human Research Facility - 2 (HRF-2) 12-panel unit (PU), active drawer.
The centrifuge was designed to be capable of maintaining a rotor chamber temperature to +4 degrees C, with selectable set points in increments of 1 degree C (percent error is +2 to -4 degrees C). However, due to an anomaly, the RC does not currently have the ability to refrigerate on orbit.
The RC is capable of running continuously for indefinite run times, or a set run time from 1 - 99 minutes. Currently, the RC is only certified for refrigeration operations of up to 60 minutes, and can be powered up for up to 3.5 hours due to acoustic constraints. It also provides selectable speed over a minimum range of 500 to 5000 revolutions per minute (rpm), selectable in increments of 10 rpm. It accommodates sample sizes from 0.5 to 50-ml between the two rotors. One rotor can hold up to six samples sized from 2 to 50-ml. The other rotor can hold up to 24 samples sized from 0.5 to 2.2 ml.
A crewmember performs a health check once every six months , but experiment use may fulfill the health check requirement. A health check allows the ground team to verify the health and status of RC components. During experiment operations, sample tubes are placed in the RC by the crewmember. The RC is then closed and the crewmember sets the required parameters and starts the RC. Following the RC session completion, the sample tubes are removed from the RC and then stored following experimental protocols.