ISS Fluids & Combustion Facility
The United States Laboratory Module on the ISS contains the Fluids and Combustion Facility (FCF), designed and built
at NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. The FCF has been
developed to accommodate the unique challenges of working with fluids
and combustion processes in microgravity.
Glenn was an ideal choice for this project because of their
reputation for award-winning research, particularly in the areas of
fluids and combustion, as well as their long-standing experience in
developing experiment hardware and world-class test facilities. Glenn
engineers and scientists have been involved in designing, producing,
and managing space-based hardware and facilities since the 1960s. As
pioneers in rocket research, they had tested high-energy propellants
even before the United States officially entered the space business.
Glenn Research Center advanced the propulsion technology that helped
make space travel possible.
The Center's unique Zero Gravity Research Facility and other
drop towers and laboratories were the source of foundational work in
microgravity research. These facilities give Glenn a unique ability to develop and test
Glenn Research Center is NASA's center of excellence for fluid
physics and combustion science and has been responsible for 153 experiments
on 47 flights. In addition to providing the new Fluids and Combustion
Facility, they will be a major contributor to the investigations onboard
the FCF, in gloveboxes, and in other ISS facilities. A forerunner of
the FCF, the Glenn-developed Combustion-Module-1 (CM-1), which flew
onboard the Shuttle Columbia, STS-83, in April, 1997, laid the groundwork
for the combustion portion of the new Fluids and Combustion Facility
with several hardware innovations.
Description of the Facility
|FIR Rack from
The Fluids and Combustion Facility (FCF) will occupy two
powered racks on the International Space Station (ISS). It
will be a permanent modular, multiuser facility to accommodate
microgravity science experiments onboard the ISS's U.S. Laboratory
Module. FCF will support NASA Human Exploration and Development
of Space program objectives requiring sustained, systematic
research in the disciplines of fluid physics and combustion
science. The two disciplines share racks and mutually necessary
hardware within FCF to dramatically reduce costs and effectively
use ISS resources. Even with the cost of FCF development
included,experimentation using FCF on the space station will
cost only half of what it did on the space shuttles.
The Fluids Integration Rack
(FIR) is used to perform fluid physics experiments
in microgravity. The FIR is designed to be easily reconfigured
on-orbit similar to an optics bench in a scientist's laboratory.
The FIR will permit a wide range of fluid investigations
for microscopic imaging to particle tracking. The FIR offers
the largest open volume for configuration of unique experiments
on-board the ISS.
The Combustion Integration
Rack (CIR) is used to perform combustion experiments
in microgravity. The CIR is designed to be easily reconfigured
on-orbit to accommodate a wide variety of combustion experiments.
The CIR is the only facility on-board the ISS to perform
combustion research experimentation. Read the Adobe Acrobat
Investigator's Guide to the CIR Payload Accommodations document
for more information or the public relations brochure Combustion
Research in the Fluids and Combustion Facility.
Program Scientist Toolbox
Interface Test Lab
Payloads Office Documents
Contacts at NASA Glenn Research Center
Project Manager: Robert Corban, NASA GRC
ISS Fluids & Combustion Facility