First European space lab Columbus installed on ISS

Updated on Feb 12, 2008 09:03 AM IST
Astronauts install the European space laboratory on the orbiting International Space Station, giving Europe an important foothold for the deeper exploration of space.
HT Image
HT Image
AFP | By, Houston

Astronauts have installed the European space laboratory Columbus on the orbiting International Space Station, giving Europe an important foothold for the deeper exploration of space.

"The European Columbus module is officially part of the International Space Station," said French space engineer Leopold Eyharts, with NASA broadcasting live images of the installation, which took place late on Monday.

The move gives European space agencies a presence alongside US and Russian astronauts on the ISS, a preparation point for future human missions to Mars.

Two astronauts from the US space shuttle Atlantis earlier made a seven-hour space walk to prepare Columbus for its hook-up to the station, orbiting 350 kilometers above the Earth.

They fixed fittings to Columbus so it could be grabbed and maneuvered into position by the station's robotic arm, for attachment to the station's Harmony module.

The two billion-dollar, 10-tonne Columbus laboratory represents a milestone in Europe's role in space. Paid for mostly by Germany, Italy and France, it is the first ISS addition not made in the United States or Russia.

The laboratory will be used for biotechnology and medicine experiments involving microgravity.

The spacewalkers also had to install panels to protect it from the impact of micro-meteorites.

NASA plans to attach another laboratory, the Japanese module Kibo, to Harmony in March.

Clearing up concerns that launch debris may have damaged the shuttle as it took off from Florida, mission chief John Shannon said on Sunday that the thermal shield on Atlantis's nose and wing forward edges were in perfect condition.

Close Story

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • A bank employee leaves the Federal Bank of Lebanon, after being held hostage by an armed customer demanding the return of his bank deposits, in the capital Beirut's Hamra street.

    Hostage standoff at Beirut bank ends with gunman's arrest

    A gunman demanding a Beirut bank let Bassam al-Sheikh Hussein, a 42-year-old food-delivery driver withdraw his trapped savings to pay his father's medical bills took up to 10 people hostage in a seven-hour standoff Thursday before surrendering in exchange for what a family lawyer said was $35,000 of his money. A 42-year-old food-delivery driver, Bassam al-Sheikh Hussein, was promptly arrested and taken away by police as he walked out of the bank. Some bystanders hailed him as a hero.

  • Nunay Mohamed, 25, who fled the drought-stricken Lower Shabelle area, holds her one-year old malnourished child at a makeshift camp for the displaced on the outskirts of Mogadishu, Somalia. (File image)

    Somalia’s worst drought in 40 years displaces 1 million people

    Somalia's worst drought in more than 40 years has internally displaced 1 million people since the dry conditions struck in January 2021, according to the United Nations. This year alone, an estimated 755,000 people fled their homes in search of water, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said in a statement on its website.

  • File photo of Sri Lanka's then president, Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

    Ex-Sri Lankan president Gotabaya Rajapaksa arrives in Thailand

    Former Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa arrived in Thailand Thursday evening following his departure from Singapore. Rajapaksa was granted entry into Thailand following a request from the Sri Lankan government, NewsWire reported. He left Singapore on Thursday after nearly a month's stay in Singapore. Sri Lankan Parliament Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena announced the official resignation of Rajapaksa on July 15. Sri Lanka has been facing its worst economic crisis since its independence.

  • Chinese Yuan Wang 5 military vessel has the ability to map ocean beds and track satellites of adversary nations.

    Chinese vessel won't dock at Sri Lanka's Hambantota Port as scheduled: Report

    China's high-tech Chinese research vessel, which was to dock at Sri Lanka's Hambantota Port, won't reach there as scheduled, according to a media report on Thursday, citing the port authorities. website reported that the Harbour Master for the Hambantota Port said no vessel can enter the port without his permission. It said the Chinese ballistic missile and satellite tracking ship 'Yuan Wang 5' will not reach Hambantota Port on Thursday.

  • A customer pumps gas at an Exxon gas station in Miami.

    US gasoline prices fall below $4 for first time since March

    The average price of US retail gasoline fell below $4 per gallon on Thursday for the first time in months, giving some relief to drivers in the world's largest consumer of the fuel. The national average price for regular unleaded gas fell to $3.990 a gallon on Thursday, according to the American Automobile Association. The latest price drop may help President Joe Biden's administration and Democrats in Congress during November's midterm elections.

Story Saved
Saved Articles
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Friday, August 12, 2022
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now