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Katherine K. Martin
Media Relations Office

December 3, 2007
RELEASE : 07-056
Local Expert Plays Role In Powering Up New Module For International Space Station
Cleveland - An engineer at NASA's Glenn Research Center will be instrumental in assuring a seamless integration of the European Space Agency's Columbus laboratory when it is attached to the International Space Station during the upcoming STS-122 mission of space shuttle Atlantis.

Gregory V. Schmitz is the Columbus Electrical Power System (EPS) integration manager. Over the last few years, he spent many hours in multi-national review meetings, face-to-face encounters and data exchanges with ESA to resolve the challenging issues involved in melding the different languages and technologies.

Schmitz has been involved in the design, development and implementation of numerous parts of the space station's EPS. "To see an idea taken from the design stages to completion as a final flying machine is truly satisfying, both personally and professionally," said Schmitz.

Columbus is a multi-purpose science laboratory which is being delivered to the space station on this flight, scheduled for launch on Dec. 6 at 4:31 p.m. This highly flexible facility comprises a pressurized module and several unpressurized external payload platforms. It is Europe's largest contribution to the station.

During the activation of Columbus, Schmitz will be at NASA's Johnson Space Center's Mission Evaluation Room in Houston. He will help ensure the lab's successful integration with the station and will be on call around the clock for any issues that may arise with the EPS in connecting Columbus to the space station.

The Columbus laboratory will be attached to the starboard docking port of Node-2. Columbus will accommodate 10 internal racks, which can house a variety of experiments. It is also capable of supporting four external payloads that can be attached outside the lab for research requiring exposure to the space environment.

With this expansion of station, its research capacity will double, allowing additional knowledge to be gained from research in space. In order for this additional capability to function well, a problem-free integration of the electric power requirements is essential.

Schmitz is a lifelong resident of Lakewood, Ohio. He is a graduate of St. Ignatius High School, received his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from University of Detroit and a master's degree in business administration from Baldwin Wallace College.

For a print quality image of Schmitz, see:

For more information on STS-122, visit:


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