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The Fluids Integrated Rack (FIR), located in the U.S. Laboratory Module (Destiny), enables investigators from multiple disciplines a large, optics bench platform to integrate a large “mini-facilities” or configuration of optical components similar to their experiment in their ground laboratories. Developed by NASA’s Glenn Research Center, the FIR was launched to the International Space Station (ISS) in August 2009 by the Space Shuttle (STS-128).

Fluids Integrated Rack (FIR)
NASA astronaut Nicole Stott, Expedition 21 flight engineer, installs hardware in the Fluids Integrated Rack (FIR) in the Destiny laboratory of the International Space Station.

The Fluids Integrated Rack accommodates experiments that address critical space exploration research and technology needs for advanced life support (i.e., air revitalization, water reclamation, etc.), power, propulsion, and spacecraft thermal control systems. The primary focus of the these experiments involve boiling heat transfer, multiphase flow, liquid vapor interface control, and liquid and vapor evaporation and condensation, as they relate to the technology needs of various exploration spacecraft subsystems. Another key area of research is in the area of colloids to better understand the interaction of particles and their impact on products produced on Earth. The FIR can also serve as a platform for experiments that address human health and performance, medical technologies, and biosciences.

ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli, uses the Light Microscopy Module (LMM) to work on the Preliminary Advanced Colloids Experiment - Light Microscopy Module: Biological Samples (PACE-LMM-Bio) investigation on the International Space Station.


Light Microscopy Module (LMM) The Light Microscopy Module (LMM) is a modified commercial, highly flexible, state-of-the-art light imaging microscope facility that provides researchers with powerful diagnostic hardware and software onboard the International Space Station (ISS). The LMM enables novel research of microscopic phenomena in microgravity, with the capability of remotely acquiring and downloading digital images … Read the rest ⇢

University Students Conduct Flow Boiling and Condensation Experiments on NASA Sponsored Microgravity Flights

Flow Boiling and Condensation Experiment (FBCE)

Flow Boiling and Condensation Experiment (FBCE) The proposed research aims to develop an integrated two-phase flow boiling/condensation facility for the International Space Station (ISS) to serve as a primary platform for obtaining two-phase flow and heat transfer data in microgravity. By comparing the microgravity data against those obtained in Earth’s gravity, it will be possible … Read the rest ⇢


Liquid Crystal Facility (LCF) The Liquid Crystal Facility (LCF) enables scientists to explore unique liquid crystal structures and dynamics. Using the International Space Station (ISS) Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG), the LCF hardware sets conditions for studies of electromagnetic and thermal gradients within bulk, freely suspended thin films in the shape of planar and bubble liquid … Read the rest ⇢

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