“Columbus” celebrates two successful years in space
The European Columbus research laboratory is celebrating its second successful year of space operations. As an integral part of the International Space Station (ISS), the laboratory has successfully hosted around 50 research experiments from a broad array of scientific disciplines over the last 24 months.
“These two years of trouble-free operation, clearly demonstrate our team’s excellent and efficient work – and illustrate how to achieve outstanding cooperation between scientific research and industry,” commented Helmut Luttmann, Head of Operations & Missions for the ISS at Astrium, marking Columbus’s second anniversary.
Columbus was the first space laboratory to be fully equipped on the ground, enabling scientific work to begin a few days after its launch on February 2008. One of the first experiments, carried out by Brandenburg Technical University Cottbus under the name “GEOFLOW”, was so successful that it is set to continue as “GEOFLOW 2” at the end of the year.
Within the scope of the Industrial Operator Team (IOT) contract, Astrium is responsible for ESA’s activities on board the ISS. Its tasks include mission preparation and mission operation, transport, integration and operation of the ground infrastructure.