Installing Columbus

Five years of unique science on Columbus

12 February 2013

Since Europe’s Columbus laboratory module was attached to the International Space Station five years ago, it has offered researchers worldwide the opportunity to conduct science beyond the effects of gravity.

A total of 110 ESA-led experiments involving some 500 scientists have been conducted since 2008, spanning fluid physics, material sciences, radiation physics, the Sun, the human body, biology and astrobiology.

The Space Station allows researchers to play with a force that is fixed on Earth: gravity. ‘Turning off’ gravity and performing experiments in space over long periods can reveal the inner workings of natural phenomena.

“We focus research on achieving scientific discoveries, developing applications and benefitting people on Earth while preparing for future space exploration,” explains Martin Zell, responsible for ESA’s utilisation of the European orbital laboratory.

Read more: Five years of unique science on Columbus / Columbus / Human Spaceflight / Our Activities / ESA.

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