ESA title
Cut-away view of the Columbus Laboratory
Science & Exploration

European Columbus laboratory

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ESA / Science & Exploration / Human and Robotic Exploration / Columbus

Columbus is a research laboratory which is permanently attached to the International Space Station and provides internal payload accommodation for experiments in the field of multidisciplinary research into material science, fluid physics and life science. In addition, an external payload facility hosts experiments and applications in the field of space science, Earth observation and technology.

Total module length 6 871 mm
Largest diameter 4 477 mm
Total internal volume 75 m3
Total volume of payload racks 25 m3

Mass budget  
Mass without payload 10 275 kg
Launch mass 12 775 kg (2500 kg payload)
Maximum payload mass 9 000 kg (maximum)
Maximum on orbit mass 21 000 kg

Flight Hardware
Biolab, Fluid Science Laboratory, European Physiology Module, European Drawer Rack
European Transport Carrier
Data and mission computers Command/Measurement Units, High rate multiplexer, Mass Memory Unit
Video Camera (2), and Monitor Audio system, Master Alarm Light panel (2), Fire extinguisher (2)
Portable Breathing Apparatus (2), Inter Module Ventilation valves and fans
Thermal Control System valves, Power Distribution Unit, Vital Telemetry Computer units
Heat exchangers, Circulation Fan Assembly and External Payload Facility (4)

Launch configuration  
Fluid Science Laboratory, European Physiology Module, Biolab, European Drawer Rack
European Transportation Carrier
Remaining racks will be installed while on orbit.
Launch vehicle Space Shuttle Atlantis - STS-122
Launch site Kennedy Space Center
Launch date 7 February 2008

On-orbit configuration  
Payload accommodation Attached to Node 2 starboard docking port
10 International Standard Payload Racks (ISPR) (max. 998 kg each)
4 external payload facilities
(max. 370 kg each)

Environmental control  
Supported crew 3
Cabin temperature Between 16° and 27°C
Air pressure Between 959 and 1013 hPa
Heat rejection Up to 22 kW through moderate and low temperature cooling loops

Main contractor
Astrium, leading a consortium of many sub-contractors

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