The Colombus laboratory is designed as a general-purpose laboratory to accomodate payloads with experiments from life sciences, physical science and technology development.
External attachment sites are also avaliable for payloads requiring celestial and earth pointing or other space environment.
It is a pressurised and habitable module which will be launched by the Shuttle and attached to node 2 of the Station.
It is the main workplace for the scientific and technological activities of the European astronauts in the Station.
Main Columbus Laboratory Characteristics
|Launched by the Shuttle||early 2006|
|Launch mass||12.7 t|
|Maximum mass on orbit||18 t|
|Number of active payloads racks||10|
|Number of stowage racks||3|
|Electrical power avaliable for payloads||up to 13.5 kW|
|Thermal control and heat removal||up to 14kW; water cooling loop;cabin air cooling|
|Earthlike atmosphere||959-1013 mbar|
|Control and handling data system|
|Communications||via TDRS system|
Colombus Resources and Services to Payloads
- Data Management System (DMS)
- Electrical Power
- Vacuum and Venting system (VVS)
- Cooling Water
- Nitrogen Gas
- Video Communications
- Telemetry and Telecomand Links
- Fire Detection and Suppression (FDS)
- Emergency, Warning and Caution and Safing (EWACS)
- Cabin Air
With the Columbus Laboratory, Europe acquires experience of long duration, continuous exploitation of an in-orbit infrastructure, with regard to both operations and utilisation.