Celebrating mission success: the EuTEF Post-Flight Symposium at ESTEC
The European Technology Exposure Facility community gathered at ESTEC in the Netherlands on 16 March to present the preliminary results of the mission and to celebrate its success.
The European Technology Exposure Facility (EuTEF) symposium was organised by Zeholy Pronk, manager of the Erasmus User Support and Operations Centre, and Tom Hoppenbrouwers, EuTEF Operations lead. In the words of Mr. Pronk: "All involved in the challenging EuTEF mission contributed their best to get the best possible utilisation results. We acted as a team, learned a lot and we can really celebrate the success of all these experiments."
EuTEF was an external platform attached to the Columbus laboratory hosting a set of eight scientific and technology payloads and one temperature unit. It was designed to ease the rapid turnaround of experiments requiring exposure to the open space environment.
The facility provided a fully automated, programmable, multi-user platform with a modular and flexible accommodation for several payloads. It was launched together with Columbus on the STS-122 flight in February 2008 and returned to Earth in September 2009 aboard Space Shuttle flight STS-128. During the 18 months that EuTEF was in space, several experiments were conducted under continuous monitoring and control from the Erasmus User Support and Operations Centre (USOC).
The first scientific results of the experiments have been analysed and the preliminary results were shared at the symposium. A comprehensive list of the EuTEF's experiments and results can be found here »»
ESA astronaut Christer Fuglesang participated in the symposium as a representative of the STS-128 crew. He described his personal experience of Shuttle and ISS mission operations and the enormous satisfaction of contributing to the return of the large set of experiments that EuTEF had hosted, for their analysis on Earth.
The EuTEF community is looking forward to future experiment opportunities of this kind on ISS.