The International Space Station (ISS) is the largest technology project of all time: an outpost of humanity in space. At the same time, it is a flying laboratory with outstanding possibilities for scientific and industrial research. The ISS proves that peaceful international use of space is to the advantage of all its partners.
Background information on German ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst and his 'Blue Dot – Shaping the future' mission.
In this new blog, the staff at the Columbus Control Centre aim to use their expertise and take you behind the scenes of Alexander Gerst's 'Blue Dot' mission. In this context, they will pick interesting topics related to the ISS, the European Columbus research laboratory and space in general, as well as report on current developments.
A special website presenting all the German astronauts that have flown in space, and the latest German astronaut candidate – Alexander Gerst. In 1978, Sigmund Jähn, a citizen of the German Democratic Republic, became the first German to travel to space. In addition to Jähn, this astronaut special contains brief biographies of Ulf Merbold, Reinhard Furrer, Ernst Messerschmid, Ulrich Walter, Klaus-Dietrich Flade, Reinhold Ewald, Gerhard Thiele and Thomas Reiter. And finally, Hans Schlegel, the German astronaut to fly most recently; he flew on STS-122, the mission during which Columbus was attached to the International Space Station, in 2008.
The International Space Station (ISS) is the largest technology project of all time. The European Columbus module is the newest section of the Space Station. Even with Columbus attached, the ISS is still not finished. Follow its development and see our interactive animation of the construction of the ISS.
In February 2008, the astronauts of the STS-122 mission installed the Columbus space laboratory in its final position on the International Space Station ISS. This image gallery shows the Columbus Laboratory from transportation in the Beluga Airbus to assembly in space.
The target field on the International Space Station (ISS) where the final European Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) cargo carrier, ATV-5 Georges Lemaître, recently docked is just 60 centimetres tall. The spacecraft arrived at 15:29:53 CEST on 12 August 2014, precisely manoeuvring automatically to arrive at the Station, at an altitude of around 400 kilometres. Astronaut Alexander Gerst had one primary task – to monitor the docking process and cancel the automated procedure in the event of an emergency. Inside the 20-ton craft are experiments such as the Electromagnetic Levitator (EML) and the DLR magnetic experiment MagVector/MFX, together with food, coffee and clothing for the astronauts, fuel, air and drinking water, as well as a replacement pump for the water treatment system in the Columbus research laboratory. Overall, the ATV-5 transported roughly 6.6 tons of cargo into space. The sophisticated unloading process now begins for the teams in the control rooms at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Oberpfaffenhofen and Cologne.
Following its textbook launch on 30 July 2014, the fifth and final supply spacecraft in the European Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) series is on its way to the International Space Station (ISS). The freighter – which is named after Belgian physicist Georges Lemaître, father of the Big Bang theory – is roughly the same size as a London double-decker bus and, together with its payload, weighs more than 20 tons. Scheduled to dock with the Space Station at 15:34 CEST on 12 August, it will supply the ISS with fuel, food and new experiments; it will remain attached to the Station for at least five months.
So far, four European space freighters have carried supplies to the International Space Station (ISS). At 01:47 CEST on 30 July 2014, Georges Lemaître – the fifth and last European Space Agency (ESA) Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) – lifted off from the spaceport at Kourou in French Guiana carrying experiments such as an electromagnetic levitator (EML), a furnace, that the German ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst will install and commission. Also on board are items needed for everyday life in space such as coffee and snacks, and additional supplies to replenish the stocks of fuel, water and air. The freighter is scheduled to dock with the Space Station on 12 August 2014.