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Columbus orbital facility

A science laboratory designed to be a part of the International Space Station. Contracted by ESA, it is integrated at EADS Space Transportation facilities in Bremen, Germany.

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Description

The laboratory is a cylindrical module designed to fit in the cargo bay of the Space Shuttle. Once launched with Flight 1E, it will subsequently be attached at the Node 2's starboard side, with the cyclinder pointing outwards. The hatch is located in the port cone, most on-board computers in the starboard cone. The module contains 10 International Standard Payload Racks (ISPRs). 4 racks are located on the forward side, 4 on the aft side, 2 are in overhead locations. 3 deck racks are filled with life support and cooling systems, the remaining deck rack and 2 overhead racks are storage racks. Additional 4 Payloads can be attached as external payloads outside the port cone.

Specifications

  • Length: 6.871 m
  • Diameter: 4.487 m
  • Mass without payload: 10300 kg
  • Total mass (incl payloads): 19300 kg

History

ESA's Board of Directors approved the Columbus program in 1985. From then on, numerous proposals were made. The most ambitious variant would have included a free-flying unmanned experimentation platform, an Attached Pressurized Module (APM), and a communication satellite providing a link between both and to the ground.

After several budget cuts, all that remained was the APM, renamed to Columbus Orbital Facility.

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