OHB supplying medical laboratory for International Space Station
In 926 days’ time, the European COLUMBUS research module is to be taken to the International Space Station ISS. Among other things, it will comprise a research laboratory for on-board medical examinations developed and built by Bremen-based space-technology company OHB-System AG for the European Space Agency ESA.
The flight model of the European Physiology Modules Facility (EPM) has been shipped by OHB to EADS Space Transportation, Bremen, for integration in the COLUMBUS module. A corresponding EPM training model for teaching astronauts how to use the laboratory in space was sent to ESA's European Astronaut Center in Cologne at the end of February.
EPM is made up of several modules with standardized interfaces allowing the astronauts to perform various tasks. One of these modules is Cardiolab, which comprises a medical diagnostics system developed by OHB subsidiary STS for astronauts’ cardiac/circulatory systems. A further module, which has been developed by French company ERMES (MEEMM), will be used for neurological measurements. Other planned modules will measure bone density, for example.
The physiological examinations in gravity-free conditions are gaining particular importance in the light of the planned manned missions to the moon or Mars.