Space Shuttle Endeavor successfully launched: Further extensions to the International Space Station featuring no shortage of technology made in Bremen
Following the successful lift-off of the launch vehicle carrying the Space Shuttle Endeavor at 0:36 hours CEST last night, the experts at Bremen-based space technology company OHB-System AG are looking forward with great optimism to the next Shuttle missions scheduled for October and December of this year. In the autumn, Harmony, the second node is to be transferred to ISS so that the European space laboratory Columbus can be docked when it arrives on December 6. OHB-System is making significant contributions to both missions.
Astronaut fitness device ready for deployment on board the ISS International Space Station
Just recently, OHB shipped an astronaut fitness device known as the Flywheel, to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. There, it was evaluated and tested by NASA experts under the supervision of experienced astronaut Marsha Ivins. At the end of the year, the Flywheel is to be sent to the space station with the European COLUMBUS module in the ETC Rack (European Transport Carrier), which has also been developed and built by OHB. OHB developed and built this space trainer for the European Space Agency ESA. In outer space, astronauts suffer the risk of muscle and bone atrophy as well as strain on their circulatory systems because their bodies are no longer exposed to the effects of gravity. To rectify this situation, it is important for astronauts to engage in regular sport.
OHB supplying medical laboratory for International Space Station
Among other things, the COLUMBUS will comprise a research laboratory for on-board medical examinations developed and built under the supervision of Bremen-based space-technology company OHB-System AG for the European Space Agency ESA. The flight model of the EPM (European Physiology Modules Facility), as the research laboratory is known, has already been integrated in COLUMBUS and is waiting for deployment in space.
EPM is made up of several modules 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. Developed by French company ERMES, the MEEMM module 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.
First experiment for the BIOLAB biological laboratory contributed by OHB
Bremen-based space technology company OHB-System AG is building the first experiment for the biological research laboratory on board the COLUMBUS. To be known as WAICO, the research system will be examining root growth in arabidopsis, also known as thale or mouse-ear cress, in varying degrees of gravity as well as in completely weightless conditions. The contract has been awarded by Astrium GmbH, Friedrichshafen.
OHB supplying key subsystems for the Fluid Science Lab of the space station
OHB has supplied the power control unit (PCU) and the video management unit (VMU) for recording, processing and transmitting experiment image and research data in the physical research laboratory FSL (Fluid Science Lab). The Fluid Science Lab is designed to conduct experiments on the transportation of materials and energy as well as the surface properties of liquids and gases in gravity-free conditions. A better understanding of these phenomena is of crucial importance for optimizing the terrestrial use of fluid resources, e.g. in combustion, lubrication, surface-coating and other technical processes.
OHB has assembled a similarly powerful system for the EDR (European Drawer Rack).
Node 2 underpinned by OHB structure
Known as Harmony, Node 2, which is to be transferred to the ISS in October 2007, features internal underpinnings such as cable harnesses and secondary structures supplied by OHB. The node is the module which links the ISS laboratories. The first one is called Unity and has been in operation as the second part of the ISS since December 1998. It is now to be followed by Harmony in October 2007. The nodes provide access to the connected laboratories and also provide living, stowage and storage space. In addition to an opening for Columbus and the Japanese module, Harmony has a docking station for the Space Shuttle.