Space Station Gets New Lab | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 86 Issue 7 | p. 26 | Concentrates
Issue Date: February 18, 2008

Space Station Gets New Lab

Department: Government & Policy
European lab module hoisted into place on the space station.
Credit: NASA

Crew members of the space shuttle Atlantis successfully delivered and attached the European-built laboratory Columbus to the International Space Station last week. The lab module was attached on Feb. 11 and its hatch was opened for the first time by the station's crew a day later. Columbus is a cylindrical module that is 23 feet long and 15 feet in diameter with a total volume of 2,648 cu ft. The lab will hold 10 experiment racks—which are each about the size of a phone booth—and has two frames attached to its exterior for materials research. The experiments to be done on ISS will focus on how humans react to microgravity and the effect of space on various fluids and objects. The $2 billion module, originally intended to launch in 1992, was named Columbus to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the sailing of Christopher Columbus.

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