NASA Astronaut Rex Walheim hanging on to Columbus
NASA astronaut Rex Walheim, mission specialist, holds onto a handrail on the Columbus laboratory on the International Space Station. His helmet visor mirrors the forward section of the Space Shuttle Atlantis
that is docked to the Station. NASA astronaut Stanley Love (out of frame), mission specialist, shared this final period of STS-122 spacewalk with Rex.
Columbus launched onboard Space Shuttle Atlantis
Space Shuttle Atlantis
and its seven-member STS-122 crew head toward the International Space Station. Liftoff from Kennedy Space Center’s launch pad 39A occurred at 12:45 (EST). The launch was the third attempt for Atlantis
since December 2007 to carry ESA’s Columbus laboratory to the Station. During the 11-day mission, the crew’s primary objective was to attach the laboratory to the Harmony module, adding to the station’s size and capabilities. Onboard are astronauts Steve Frick, commander; Alan Poindexter, pilot; Leland Melvin, Rex Walheim, ESA’s Hans Schlegel, Stanley Love and ESA’s Leopold Eyharts, all mission specialists. Léopold joined Expedition 16 to serve as a flight engineer aboard the International Space Station.
Columbus laboratory moved into place with Canadarm2
In the grasp of the station’s robotic Canadarm2, the Columbus laboratory is moved from its stowage position in Space Shuttle Atlantis
‘ (STS-122) payload bay to the starboard side of the Harmony module of the International Space Station.
Columbus installation first spacewalk
The European Columbus laboratory was installed during the first spacewalk of the STS-122 mission. NASA astronauts Stanley Love and Rex Walheim spent nearly 8 hours outside the International Space Station. Their tasks included preparation of the Columbus laboratory for transfer from Space Shuttle Atlantis
‘ payload bay to the starboard side of the Station’s Harmony module.
Hans Schlegel space walking
In the darkness of space, ESA astronaut Hans Schlegel, STS-122 mission specialist, participates in the mission’s second spacewalk as construction and maintenance continue on the International Space Station. During the six-hour, 45-minute spacewalk, among other tasks, Hans and NASA astronaut Rex Walheim (out of frame), mission specialist, worked to replace a nitrogen tank used to pressurise the Station’s ammonia cooling system.
STS-122 crew with newly installed Columbus module
NASA astronaut Rex Walheim, mission specialist, holds onto a handrail and spreads his arms at the Columbus laboratory, the newest piece of hardware on the International Space Station. On this final spacewalk for the STS-122 Atlantis
crew, Walheim’s pose is reminiscent of that of a musical conductor who has just completed a successful concert. Stanley Love (out of frame), mission specialist, shared this spacewalk with Walheim.
Hans Schlegel preparing the Columbus module
ESA astronaut Hans Schlegel, STS-122 mission specialist, continues readying the European Columbus laboratory for duty on the International Space Station. A pictorial guidebook assists the astronaut in installing the lab’s experiment racks.
ISS with Columbus
Backdropped by the blackness of space, the International Space Station is seen from Space Shuttle Atlantis
as the two spacecraft begin their separation. Earlier the STS-122 and Expedition 16 crews concluded almost nine days of work onboard the Shuttle and Station. Undocking of the two spacecraft occurred at 3:24 (CST) on 18 February 2008.
AIS antenna unfurled
Astronaut Randolph Bresnik seen during a spacewalk on 21 November 2009 with the unfurled AIS antenna, attached to Columbus used for experimental tracking of VHF signals of ships at sea.
NASA astronaut Gregory Chamitoff prepares the 3D Space experiment inside Columbus
NASA astronaut Gregory Chamitoff prepares the 3D Space experiment inside the European Columbus laboratory. The Mental Representation of Spatial Cues During Space Flight (3D Space) experiment looks at the perception and localisation of objects in the environment and their influence on spatial orientation and reliable performance of motor tasks in microgravity.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights inside Columbus
Expedition 18 crewmembers Sandra Magnus, Mike Fincke and Yury Lonchakov display the Universal Declaration of Human Rights inside the European Columbus laboratory. The documents were carried into space with Space Shuttle Endeavour
on 15 November 2008. The launch of the Declaration on board Endeavour was part of a year long calendar of celebrations to mark 60 years since the it was first adopted by the United Nations General Assembly at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris, France. Protected in space-proof packaging, the Declaration reached the International Space Station when Endeavour
docked with the orbital outpost on 16 November. It is stored on a permanent basis inside Columbus.
Astronauts work outside Columbus to remove experiments from the external platform
NASA Astronauts John Olivas and Nicole Stott (right), STS-128 mission specialists, participate in the mission’s first spacewalk as construction and maintenance continue on the International Space Station. During the six-hour, 35-minute spacewalk, Olivas and Stott removed an empty ammonia tank from the station’s truss and temporarily stowed it on the station’s robotic arm. Olivas and Stott also retrieved the European Technology Exposure Facility (EuTEF) and Materials International Space Station Experiment (MISSE) from the Columbus laboratory module and installed them on Discovery’s payload bay for return.
Setting up an experiment in the European Columbus laboratory
Paolo Nespoli in the European Columbus laboratory, setting up the Neurospat experiment. Neurospat measures the effect of Gravitational Context on EEG Dynamics. It is a study of spatial cognition, novelty processing and sensorimotor integration, composed of two principal experimental tasks: visual orientation and visuomotor tracking, plus additional, standardized electroencephalogram (EEG) tasks performed as a means of assessing general effects of the space station environment on EEG signals.
Columbus: ESA’s real estate’ in space
In February 2008, the Columbus module was launched on the Space Shuttle Atlantis, creating space history when it was attached to the International Space Station as the first European laboratory dedicated to long-term research in microgravity.
On 7 February 2008 Space Shuttle Atlantis was launched to the International Space Station carrying ESA’s Columbus laboratory.
Over 6 m long and more than 10 tonnes, its shell was built in Italy and completed in Germany. Columbus was shipped to the US to be launched from the Kennedy Space Center. ESA astronauts Léopold Eyharts and Hans Schlegel joined the Shuttle crew to install the module on the orbital complex.
Since then, more than a hundred ESA-led experiments have been conducted in many areas such as biology, fluid physics, material sciences, radiation physics and the human body.