Skip to page content Mission Information


Fluid Therapy System (FTS)
Principal Investigator
Research Area:
Clinical medicine
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Homo sapiens Species: Human


The International Space Station Health Maintenance Facility was designed to provide medical care to crewmembers for up to 10 days. An integral part of the Health Maintenance Facility is the capability to supply intravenous (IV) fluids to sustain an ill or injured crewmember. In health care facilities on Earth, IV solutions are normally stored in large quantities. However, due to weight and volume constraints, an adequate supply of the required solutions cannot be carried on board the space station. By formulating medical fluids on board from concentrates and space station water as needed, the Fluid Therapy System (FTS) was designed to eliminate weight and volume as constraints.

Evaluation of the FTS equipment focused on the needs of the space station. A one-bed hospital to support a four-man crew during the Permanently Manned-Tended phase was developed. During this phase, medical operations would be responsible for treating minor ailments, but could also intervene in the case of an emergency. During these emergencies, the crewmembers might need IV fluids rapidly and possibly for several days until they could be stabilized and returned to Earth. The FTS represents one aspect of the emergency medical care required.

The FTS evaluation consisted of two functional objectives and an in-flight demonstration of IV administration of fluids. The first objective was to make sterile water and IV solutions on board the Shuttle. If IV fluids are to be produced on the space station, successful sterilization of water and reconstitution of IV solutions must be achieved. The second objective was to repeat the FTS infusion pump verification, which had been performed initially on Spacelab Life Sciences 1 (SLS-1). Finally, the technique of starting an IV in microgravity was demonstrated. The IV technique required modifications in microgravity, such as the use of restraints for equipment and crewmembers involved.

++ -- View more

Lloyd CW, Creager GJ, Guess TM, Giglio DP. Post-Mission Summary – Two-Week Report Spacelab J (STS-47): Inflight demonstration of the Space Station Freedom Health Maintenance Facility Fluid Therapy System. 1992 Oct.

Lloyd CW. Space medicine: answering the challenge. J Clin Pharmacol 1991 31(10): 1027-1035.[]

Miller TY, Ed. Spacelab J Experiment Descriptions. Washington DC: National Aeronautics and Space Administration; 1992: 249-257. NASA Technical Memorandum TM-4517.

Office of Life and Microgravity Sciences and Applications. Final Results Spacelab J. Washington DC: National Aeronautics and Space Administration; 1995: 54-55. NASA Special Publication SP-525.

Infusion pump
Life support systems

Photo Gallery
+ View digital images

Data Information
Data Availability
Archive is complete. All data sets are on the Web site.
Data Sets + View data.

Bacterial count
Concentration, anions
Concentration, cations
Concentration, dextrose
Concentration, endotoxin
++ -- View more

Mission/Study Information
Mission Launch/Start Date Landing/End Date Duration
STS-47 09/12/1992 09/19/1992 7 days

Additional Information
Managing NASA Center
Johnson Space Center (JSC)
Responsible NASA Representative
Johnson Space Center LSDA Office
Project Manager: Pamela A. Bieri
Institutional Support
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Alternate Experiment Name