First OHB Hardware on Course for the ISS International Space Station
Successful Shuttle launch auguring well for further extensions to ISS
US Space Shuttle Discovery lifted off successfully from Cape Canaveral, Florida, yesterday evening. On board is the biological research laboratory EMCS, the European Modular Cultivation System. Bremen-based space technology company OHB-System AG constructed the heart of this bio laboratory in the form of two centrifuges and is thus sending its first hardware to the ISS. Thomas Reiter, the first long-term astronaut for the European Space Agency ESA, is managing this laboratory, which aims to examine the behavior of plants and insects in various gravitational conditions. The centrifuges simulate different levels of gravity right up to twice the earth’s gravity and provide life support systems for the organisms. The purpose of the experiments is to develop a greater understanding of the impact of changed gravity conditions on biological processes and possibly to gain an indication of how food could be produced in space in the future.
The successful launch of the Discovery marks a further key milestone in the completion of the ISS. At this stage, it will be possible for the European laboratory Columbus to be launched in autumn 2007, meaning that the laboratories developed and built by OHB will also be able to enter the operative phase.
Currently, the Industrial Operator Team IOT is managing COLUMBUS. It is responsible for payload integration, maintenance and servicing as well as preparations for orbital operations. As a member of the IOT, OHB is responsible for the EPM medical research laboratory and the ETC trans port rack, which it developed and built as the main contractor, as well as for the fluid science lab FSL, the European Drawer Rack EDR and the Biolab biological research laboratory, in which OHB is playing a key role as subcontractor.