2.4.2020: Milestone reached for commercial research in low Earth orbit.
In a complex operation lasting several hours, the Canadian robotic arm of the International Space Station (ISS) successfully attached the Bartolomeo platform to the Columbus European space laboratory – much to the relief and satisfaction of the Airbus Bremen team that developed and built it.
“This was an extremely demanding operation,” said project manager Andreas Schütte. “The complex mechanisms and all interfaces of our platform with the ‘Canadarm’ worked perfectly and all our planning and calculations for the installation proved to be correct. Thanks to the whole team and everyone who supported us.”
With this milestone reached, an important step has been taken towards the commercial use of the platform for microgravity research. Andreas Hammer, Head of Space Exploration, congratulated the whole team: “I am pleased that our space projects are continuing in these difficult times. This was an outstanding achievement by the team, my congratulations and thanks to all those involved who had to work under great time pressure. They have every right to be proud of this achievement. I would also like to thank our customers ESA and DLR, who have provided us with substantial support for our project. Now it is all the more important to find more customers for the platform in order to further advance the commercial exploitation of research in near-Earth space”.
Although the platform is now firmly attached to Columbus, the electrical connection is still missing. This will be completed by ISS astronauts on an outboard mission at a time yet to be defined.