Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
Johnson Space Center, Houston
NASA Welcomes European Space Station Module
NASA is celebrating the arrival of an important component to the International Space Station, the Columbus research laboratory. Columbus is the European Space Agency's primary contribution to the station. It arrived at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla., Tuesday from Germany. Over the past week, it was unloaded from its transport aircraft and taken to its temporary home in Kennedy's Space Station Processing Facility, where it will be prepared for launch. It was welcomed Friday in a ceremony attended by guests from both sides of the Atlantic.
Columbus will expand the research facilities of the station, providing researchers the ability to conduct a variety of experiments in the area of life, physical and materials sciences. It was manufactured by the European Aeronautic Defence and Space (EADS) company in Bremen, Germany, and Alcatel Alenia Space in Turin, Italy. It will launch aboard the space shuttle, on the seventh of the shuttle's upcoming missions to the station.
"The arrival of Columbus is a major milestone in moving forward to complete the station," said Michael Suffredini, NASA's space station program manager. "The delivery of Columbus to Kennedy to begin processing for flight signifies the strong international partnership and planning required for the operation of the station."
The module has the capability to hold up to 10 payload facility racks of experiments. Each rack provides independent controls for power and cooling and communication links to researchers on Earth. In addition, four exterior mounting platforms will enable the station crew to conduct experiments outside the module.
The operations center for the Columbus laboratory is located in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany, and will serve as the primary control center for the science to be performed in the laboratory.
Video highlights of the Columbus arrival activities will air this afternoon on the NASA TV Video File segment on the Media Channel (Program 103).
NASA TV's Public, Education and Media channels are available on an MPEG-2 digital C-band signal accessed via satellite AMC-6, at 72 degrees west longitude, transponder 17C, 4040 MHz, vertical polarization. In Alaska and Hawaii, they are on AMC-7 at 237 degrees west longitude, transponder 18C, at 4060 MHz, horizontal polarization. For digital downlink information and links to streaming video, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv
For photos of the Columbus module, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/multimedia/Columbus_gallery.html
For information about Columbus and the International Space Station, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/station
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