ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano sets up University of Edinburgh experiment Biorock by installing experiment containers in the small temperature-controlled Kubik incubators onboard the International Space Station. (Credit: ESA)
PARIS (ESA PR) — The International Space Station is open for business and ESA is calling on industry to help extend the capabilities of Europe’s Columbus laboratory to support science and technology in space beyond 2024.
Columbus is Europe’s single largest contribution to the International Space Station. Launched in 2008, it is the first permanent European research facility in space.
The laboratory has supported over 185 science and technology demonstrations to date, many of which are operated remotely from ESA’s Columbus Control Centre in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany.
With the lifetime of the Station expected to be extended until 2030, there is now an opportunity to modernise and enhance the lab’s capabilities – starting with an industry workshop at ESA’s technical heart ESTEC in Noordwijk, The Netherlands in November.
Head of ESA’s astronaut centre (EAC) Frank De Winne says the modernisation of Columbus over the next 10 years creates room for greater commercial involvement, allowing Europe to achieve even more in orbit while freeing up public funds for investment in future space ...