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Artist's impression showing ISS

European elements

In addition to Columbus, ESA is providing a number of important parts for the International Space Station (ISS).

Among those that have already been delivered are:

  • The Data Management System which controls the Russian-built part of the ISS
  • The Microgravity Glovebox which is used for experiments in the U.S. Destiny lab
ESA also agreed to build two 'nodes', which act as corridors linking different modules. They also provide extra docking ports and storage space. Node 2 (Harmony) was delivered to the ISS in October 2007. It is the attachment point for ESA’s Columbus lab and the Japanese Kibo laboratory. Node 3 (Tranquility) was delivered by Shuttle Endeavour in February 2010. It contains a life support system, exercise equipment and a toilet.
European Robotic Arm
European Robotic Arm
Stargazing and Earth photography became much easier with the addition of ESA's cupola to Node 3. Surrounded by the seven largest windows ever used in space, astronauts have a wonderful view of the station and the Universe around it.

The 11.3 metre-long European Robotic Arm – developed with Russian help – will be attached to the outside of the station. Built with seven joints, it will be able to carry astronauts during spacewalks and large pieces of equipment. It will also be able to move between different bases on the station.

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