Columbus space lab to do advanced research
The European Space Agency says its Columbus laboratory that will become part of the International State Station will provide cutting-edge space research.
The laboratory will include the European Technology Exposure Facility, or EuTEF, that's designed for research that must be performed in space.
That means EuTEF will be located outside the Columbus laboratory where there is intense radiation, but no air, no gravity and where temperatures regularly cycle between approximately 100 degrees and minus 100 degrees.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration will ferry the Columbus module to the ISS aboard space shuttle Atlantis, which is scheduled for launch Thursday afternoon. The STS-122 shuttle crew will perform a series of spacewalks to bolt the lab to the space station.
Researchers had to design experiments to work on their own without breaking down during the 18 months the EuTEF will stay in orbit. The experiments are designed to transmit results to control centers on Earth.
Nine experiments from various European nations have been attached to the EuTEF platform. They include research on how bacteria behave in space and a device to measure radiation levels. // Copyright 2007 by United Press International